Nashville Predators' fans are feeling the blues as of late. There hasn't been a lot to smile about by any means. The Predators are struggling to score, and all the buzz in the fan base is about that mythical shakeup.
The St. Louis Blues, on the other hand, have been steady at the two spot in the division. I wouldn't say that they've been hot, but they have been consistent. That's what you need to be when you are playing in such a tough division.
The St. Louis Blues
As I mentioned, the Blues haven't been hot by any means. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games, and have alternated wins and losses over the last five games. I am sure Preds' fans are hoping that trend continues, as the Blues are coming off of a win.
The usual suspects are getting it done for St. Louis. It's no surprise that Vladimir Tarasenko is leading the charge for the Blues in scoring. He has been the most integral part of St. Louis' success so far this season. He lead the team in goals (19) and points (32). After Tarasenko, you have Alexander Steen who is second on the team with points (29). The one thing that could hurt the Blues in the long run is the drop off in point production from Steen and the third person (David Backes) on the team in points. Backes has 19 points on the year. It hasn't hurt them yet, but it could catch up to them later on down the line.
One spot that the Blues don't have to worry about is their goaltending. Jake Allen has been a rock this season. Yes, there have been games that haven't been so stellar, but he boasts a 2.11 GAA and a .925 SV%. Those are numbers most teams would not mind taking on any given night.
Both the Blues and the Preds know how important this game is. It is still very early in the season, but every point matters in this division. The Blues will definitely be ready for it.
On a side note, the Blues are going to be doing Star Wars night on January 14th. I would have figured they would have just done it against the Preds tonight. The Star Wars nerd in me is saying the force will be against them in this one because of this decision.
The Nashville Predators
I will keep this one short. We all know what needs to happen and we all know the story as of late. The Predators just need to find a way to score, plain and simple.
Nashville has been too focused on getting the perfect shot, instead of a volume of shots on net (this was more true for the last game against Calgary). All the numbers and stats usually favor the Preds by the end of the game, except for the only one that matters, goals scored. It's time to stop being pretty and just sending a barrage of shots at opposing goaltenders. You would think that they will eventually break through. I mean, law of averages would dictate that, right?
Pekka Rinne has also stepped up his play as of late. He still isn't his old self, but he is far better than what he was a few weeks ago. Now there is only one place to point the finger in terms of reasons for not winning consistently.
Reasons To Watch
- Last year, everyone would be tuning into this matchup to watch Vladimir Tarasenko and Filip Forsberg try to top each other. Tarasenko is still fun to watch this year, and Forsberg has had glimpses of that throughout the season. Hopefully tonight's game will bring out the Forsberg of last year.
- Games against the Blues always have a playoff atmosphere to them. I wouldn't expect anything less tonight.
Drink Of Choice For Game Time
I am going straight to the hard stuff for this one. I will be enjoying Oban on the rocks.
Sights and Sounds
No changes here. FS-TN for TV locally and 102.5 The Game for radio. Puck drops at 7:00 pm Central.