5 Things and Blues Come to Town
By Tom T
Last night the Blackhawks did the CBJ a solid taking down the Sabres 7 – 3 and the Lightning topped NYI on the island. But both the Caps (win over Calgary) and Pens (over Sens) held down home ice. That left the standings pretty much unchanged with NYI (64 pts), PIT (62 pts) and WAS (62 pts) ahead of Columbus in the Metro and MON (61 pts) now up in the Wild Card. CAR and BUF both have 56 points and remain three points back of C-Bus (59 pts) for the final playoff spot in the East.
Thursday’s game versus the Jets was positive. After Torts rant I expected to see a significant change in the player’s approach to the game. Observations from the game:
1. Torts rant was not an empty threat. Duclair made a bad play early and sat the rest of the game. He logged 24 seconds of ice time. Smart money is that he gets the healthy scratch tonight. ***Late update, looks like Duby is out tonight (injury) so Duclair will be in the lineup.
2. Talk about bad bounces. Cam takes a warmup shot from cross bar to face. If this happens in game they stitch him back up and send him back out. But, that amount of damage was unknown, it was pre-game and he could still be replaced in the lineup, so he sat. I would expect to see him tonight v. St. Louis.
3. Josh Anderson didn’t look out of place on the top line. In fact, it may be where he belongs. But with the first line talent of Atkinson-PLD-Bread, he is unlikely to see any top line time until Panarin gets moved. However, moving Atkinson off the top line in order to have more firepower down the line up may pay dividends. Worth at least a period of experimentation.
4. Bob looked very good. He still had rebound control issues in some stretches and allowed a trickle goal. But, he looked more like the Bob of old with a handful highlight-reel saves. I was disappointed not to see Korpisalo, however it seems he will be tonight’s starter.
5. Defensive shake up? Jones and Werenski were separated on the top line. I am in favor of this move to spread talent up and down the line up. Would have liked to see Murray with a top line assignment, but he has once again found himself on the injured list.
Who are the Blues this season?
They are 4th from the bottom in the West, but only 3 points behind COL for the final playoff position. Secondary scoring has been an issue as only 3 players have more than 10 goals and the team ranks 27th in the league with 139 goals for. Goaltending has been inconsistent as Allen has 15 wins, but a 3.04 GAA and a .897 Sv%. St. Louis has top end talent in All Star Ryan O’Reilly, goal scorer Vlad Tarasenko and #1 defensemen Alex Pietrangelo.
End the losing streak and get 2 points. Score 4+ goals.
This is a classic ‘Trap Game’, but I don’t think John T. will allow this team to lose focus tonight.
Note: Watch out for the Flyers. Win streak is at 7 with Carter Hart (G) getting 6 of those wins. He looks like the real deal and could have been what Philly was missing all season.