Blues @ Blue Jackets

November 30, 2009

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Well, a few bits of news prior to tonight’s game.   Eric Brewer has been placed on IR – retroactive to 25 Nov.  Carlo Colaiacovo took a puck off the foot on Saturday and is unable to play tonight.  The Blues have called up Jonas Junland from Peoria and Junland will play in Colaiacovo’s place tonight.  Why not insert Alex Pietrangelo?  Because Pietrangelo is a right handed shot – Junland and Colaiacovo are left handed – and Junland can take Colaiacovo’s place on the left point of the powerplay – something he’s used to in Peoria.  That’s the explanation from the Blues anyway – courtesy of Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch.

Patrik Berglund is also in the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch for the previous three games. I’m looking forward to seeing how he responds – and personally, I prefer him in the lineup over Winchester at the moment. Winchester doesn’t use his size to his advantage yet – he doesn’t play mean enough and drifts out of the game. Drifting out of the game is a charge that can be levelled at Berglund but I prefer to think that he’s a young player, still finding his feet and he’ll get there. It just takes patience. Anyway – lineup for tonight is:

David Perron-Andy McDonald-Brad Boyes
Paul Kariya-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Alex Steen-Jay McClement-B.J. Crombeen
Patrik Berglund-Keith Tkachuk-Cam Janssen

Darryl Sydor-Erik Johnson
Barret Jackman-Roman Polak
Jonas Junland-Mike Weaver

Chris Mason once again gets the start in goal – Blues playing the hot handed number 1 goalie.

Source: Jeremy Rutherford


Red Wings 4 – Blues 3 (S/O)

November 29, 2009

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Well, the Blues got a point – it should have been two but once again an unlucky bounce or two cost the Blues. However, let’s concentrate on the positive: the Kariya-Oshie-Backes line once again produced; the Blues were good on the forecheck for most of the game; they worked hard; created chances – and when it all shakes down, the Blues were the better team on the ice.

Unfortunately, being unable to clear their own zone led to the Red Wings getting back into the game and ultimately winning in the shootout. A heartbreaking end for the Blues – 57 seconds left in the game and the puck goes in off Barrat Jackman’s arm after a scramble. Nothing Jackman or Chris Mason could do about it.

Focussing on the good once again though and it was certainly impressive seeing Paul Kariya all over the ice – defending as well as attacking and creating chances. That second line of the Blues is very dangerous: they are scoring, hitting and defending. Anyway – your game reports:

Next up – tomorrow the Blues are in Columbus facing off against the Blue Jackets.  The BJ’s are three points ahead of the Blues in Central – this is our chance to cut that deficit.

Red Wings @ Blues

November 28, 2009

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Chris Mason to get the start tonight…

Well, according to Jeremy Rutherford, the Blues lineup will remain the same as the one that triumphed in Nashville – with one possible exception. If the Red Wings do NOT dress Brad May…then Patrik Berglund could get a start and Brad Winchester would sit out. However, it’s looking likely that Brad May will be playing tonight so expect Winchester in the Blues lineup.

Eric Brewer is still out and Bernie Miklasz has twittered that Chris Mason is expected to play tonight. A bit of a surprising move – considering he had a tough game last night. It’s odd that Ty Conklin isn’t given the start tonight – he played well in the Premiere game against his old team.

Blues 3 – Predators 1

November 28, 2009

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Paul Kariya broke out of his scoring slump

Well, it was a perfect night for it – Paul Kariya broke out of his scoring slump by registering the Blues third goal last night … against his old team. A faceoff win in the Predators zone, Oshie battling against the boards and sending the puck to a totally open Paul Kariya in front of the net. Kariya made no mistake and scored his first goal in 15 games. Prior to that, Brad Boyes had opened the scoring by flipping the puck to the net and unexpectedly finding it going in off Predators goalie, Pekka Rinne. David Backes put the Blues 2 up after pouncing on a rebound. The Predators got back into the game with a disputed goal – Dave Scatchard seeming to knock the puck in out of the glove of Chris Mason.

The Blues second line of Kariya-Backes-Oshie once again had a great game – and it seems Andy Murray now likes his top two lines. So much so that he’s kept them together for a number of games now. So, your game reports:

Next up:  Blues at home to the Red Wings.  Don’t bet against Paul Kariya now starting to score regularly.

Blues @ Predators

November 27, 2009

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The Blues face the Predators tonight in the first of a “three games in four days” period. Coming off a shootout win against Dallas, the Blues have won three of their last four games. The Predators, however, have won seven games in succession. The Blues will need to be at their best tonight and currently there are no changes in the Blues lineup apart from Chris Mason getting the nod over Ty Conklin.

There IS, however, speculation – namely from Andy Strickland that Eric Brewer could be doubtful for tonight’s game. Strickland is reporting that Brewer suffered an “upper body” injury during Wednesday’s fight against the Star’s Steve Ott. It’s likely that Darryl Sydor would step in if Brewer is unable to play tonight.

Blues 4 – Stars 3 (S/O)

November 26, 2009

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Okay, so it needed a shootout to get the extra point but this means that the Blues have won 3 of their last 4 games. Some more good points:

  • The Blues scored a goal on the powerplay – snapping a 0-19 streak.
  • David Backes finally broke through – registering a goal and an assist.
  • TJ Oshie also registered a goal and an assist.
  • Cam Janssen faced off with Krys Barch in the first few minutes of the game.
  • Eric Brewer -normally such a mild mannered guy on ice – took exception to Steve Ott (and really…who wouldn’t?) late in the second period and the two fought/wrestled until the refs stepped in.

It wasn’t perfect – but it was a win.  Both teams had over 30 shots on goal – the Blues with 38 and Dallas with 37.  Ty Conklin made some excellent saves and came good in the shootout to give the Blues their first shootout win of the season.  So, here are some game reports for you:

The Blues captain, Eric Brewer, receives more than his fair share of brickbats…so it’s about time he got a bouquet for doing what a Captain should and standing up strong against players like Steve Ott:

Blues @ Stars

November 25, 2009

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Can Paul Kariya break out of his slump?

Lots of questions ahead of tonight’s game against the Stars. One of the main ones being can the Blues awful Powerplay finally start putting the puck in the net? The Blues practice this morning concentrated heavily on the powerplay – let’s see if it starts producing. A change of personnel – or maybe reverting back to the “umbrella” formation that worked last year – whatever they do, SOMETHING needs to happen to break the Blues forwards out of this slump. We have good players – there’s no question about that – so maybe it’s simply a matter of time. Given time, quality players like Paul Kariya, will start scoring. It’s just a question of when – and with the season already 25% over (and the Blues currently last in the Central Division – 6 points behind the fourth placed Red Wings) – there’s not a lot of time left. It’s all very well proposing a trade…but who is out there who can help? Who would be worth chasing at this point? And more importantly…who would we give up?

Anyway – tonight’s game. It’s going to be physical. There is no doubt about that – especially considering the Steve Ott factor from the last Blues/Stars game. As such, the Blues are sitting out Patrik Berglund tonight and replacing him with Brad Winchester. Let’s hope Winchester plays mean. The rest of the lineup remains the same – with Ty Conklin getting the start in goal tonight.

Sources: Dan O’Neill and Chris Kerber