[SBN Blues Blog: St. Louis Gametime]
The St. Louis Blues made a dramatic run last season to squeak into the playoffs and set the stage for a sort of Cinderella story. To be honest I was kinda rooting for them in the West up until the Vancouver Canucks made quick work of them in a first round sweep that brought St. Louis's postseason to an early end.
This season the Blues are off to a decent start (as decent or "good" as you can really be only six games in). St. Louis is coming off a 5-0 shutout win over the Ducks on Saturday and currently sit 3-2-1 overall.
We all know Jay McKee is going up against his former team tonight, but have you been keeping tabs on the goaltending? Guess who was in net for the Blues on Saturday for that shutout? I'll spare you the Googling - it was Ty Conklin.
Yes, that Ty Conklin.
With Chris Mason sitting 1-2-1 in four starts and Conklin comfortably posting a 2-0 record, logic would suggest Conklin gets the nod tonight. Given the fact that he's also going up against some former teammates works all the more in his favor.
Former Pens defenseman Daryl Sydor will also start on the Blues' blue line. And although the family ties came through Pittsburgh during the late 80s, early 90s, I doubt we'll see former Penguin Frank Pietrangelo's nephew (twice removed or something like that) Alex Pietrangelo take to the ice.
There are a few other names you want to keep an eye on in this game. Overall the Blues run deep with skill and veteran leadership, so really this is just scratching the surface. Keith Tkachuk, long-time Blue, leads the team with 7 points (3g, 4a). Right behind him is Andy McDonald, the former Stanley Cup-winning Anaheim Duck and fastest skater winner with 6 points (3g, 3a). Paul Kariya and Brad Boyes also have five points each, further emphasizing the skill the Blues have up front. Also have to give props to Erik Johnson, fresh from ACL/MCL surgery following his golf cart accident last season at a team charity golf outing. He has six helpers in six games.
Following the Rangers' dismal 7-3 loss to the Sharks last night, Pittsburgh look to extend the home win streak to six and take a two-point lead over the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference by the end of the night.