Preview: Blues vs. Wild
Lots to Prove
While I won't provide game previews before each and every game this season, I will do one when the situation calls for one. Here, the Blues return home and take on the Minnesota Wild in a game that carries a lot of weight for both squads. The Blues have yet to find consistency as a team and are looking for improved efforts from the vast majority of their team. The argument can be made that Chris Mason
(pictured to your left) along with Ty Conklin
have been the best Blues thus far. While this game will be blacked out on Dish Network thanks to the current FSMW dispute, here are a few points to watch tonight for those that can.
St. Louis Blues: 3-3-1 (7 points)
vs. Minnesota Wild: 2-6-0 (4 points)
The records really tell the story so far. The Blues have been fantastic in a few games such as the wins against Detroit and the dominating display against Anaheim, but have also been slow, shaky and lacking energy in defeats by Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. On the other hand, Minnesota has struggled out of the gate, dropping all six of their road contests this season and collecting just four points through eight games. St. Louis is looking for their first win in the city of St. Louis, Minnesota is looking for their first W on the road.
Prior to the Pittsburgh game, I posted a list of keys to success for the Note to follow if they hoped to walk away with a win against the Penguins. Following a 5-1 beating, it is clear the team didn't do so well following the list.
Here there is no large format to follow to earn two points, but rather just one that I would like to see them follow: Show us who you really are. To say this year has been confusing is an understatement, as we have seen some great hockey but also some ugly, ugly displays. Tonight, at home, show us what this team really is and what it is capable of. It is time to start fast, bring the energy and intensity, and to throw your weight around.
The season is still young as this is only the 8th game for the Blues this year, but now is the time to fix the early mistakes.
In addition to hoping the team shows us their true (and hopefully bright) colors tonight, here are other specifics I for one am hoping to see:
- Brad Boyes makes himself noticeable tonight. Outside of his lone goal this season, do you honestly remember anything he has done? While five points through seven games isn't awful, it is far from the five goals in six games he started 2008-09 with.
- Creativity. The Post-Dispatch said it well stating the Blues have yet to play with any form of creativity. With guys like McDonald, Perron and Oshie, why are we seeing such an ugly style of hockey.
- Hit somebody. In order to do this, you must control the puck as it is hard to complete checks when you're chasing the puck around the ice. Don't shy away from the man/puck as we saw Tuesday.
While I could keep listing these for quite a while, in summary the team just needs to turn in a energetic, complete effort. The Blues need to hustle, battle in the corners, make solid passes, avoid forcing plays, and support the men who have been the brightest on the team; the goaltenders.
It should be a battle between two teams that are still trying to figure out what their course for the season will be. While it is silly and lame to label the eighth game of the season a "must win", St. Louis will be placed in an awkward position both in their division and with their fanbase if they can't come away with two tonight.
Enjoy the game for those of you who are able to watch, I'll be following along from my computer until Dish / FSMW come to their senses.
Let's Go Blues!