Blues Look to Slow Down Caps
The Blues focus tonight will obviously be on slowing down the high octane Washington Capitals.
The last thing the Blues want to do is get into an aerial attack with arguably the most explosive team in the league. Davis Payne tells me he stills wants his team to play fast but certainly not reckless. The Blues will need a two way effort from all of their forwards this evening.
With that being said I do think it’s important to try to initiate your game especially at home. You don’t want to ever give an opponent too much respect. They may be good but this isn’t the Edmonton Oilers from the 1980’s.
A shutdown line consisting of Jay McClement, B.J. Crombeen, and Alex Steen will share the responsibility of containing Alexander Ovechkin and company.
Yes the same Steen who played with Andy McDonald and Brady Boyes the night before in Chi-town.
That line combination has been temporarily placed on hold until the Capitals exit the Scottrade Center. Same goes with the Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, David Backes line that exploded for eight points less than 24 hours ago. While I don’t necessarily agree with the changes, every coach has their own philosophy and obviously Davis Payne must feel this gives the Blues the best chance to win.
Stopping the puck will also go a long way in improving the Blues chances of winning the game. Ty Conklin struggled to say the least Tuesday against the Blackhawks. I thought it would have made more sense to play your number one goaltender on the road, in a division game, against the defending Stanley Cup champs. I would have had no issue with Conklin going tonight.
Backes four points tied his career high for most points in a game. Ty Conklin has been on the ice both times he’s done this only last time he was playing for Detroit when Backes pumped home four goals.
Patrik Berglund is quietly putting together a productive season. he still has his moments where he disappears but for the most part he’s been good.
D’Agostini was much better Tuesday in Chicago, the Blues could certainly use his speed and ability to play through contact heading into tonight.
Blues lines for tonight….
McDonald Backes Boyes
Sobotka Berglund D’Agostini
Steen McClement Crombeen
Della Rovere Scatchard Winchester
Janssen could play but as of this morning it appears he’s likely the odd man out. So much for the boxing match with he and King that’s been built up.
Several Washington players were giving it to King saying Janssen’s been chirping him through the media. King tried his best to let his current teammates know that it’s just Cam being Cam.
Washington forward lines…..
Ovechkin Backstrom Knuble
Semin Johansson Laich
King Gordon Bradley
Tyson Strachan jumps back in on defense with Nikita Nikitin sitting this one out.
Roman Polak skated again today as he continues to get himself back in shape. He continues to skate with a brace on his surgically repaired wrist and is still not doing any shooting.
Polak was hoping to go to dinner last night with Tomas Fleischmann but right before he called him to make plans he saw a text saying he’d been traded to Colorado.
As always it was good to see David Perron at the rink this morning. He was happy to run into his good friend D.J. King who now plays for the Capitals. I used to call King the “Godfather” several years ago as King did an admirable job taking the younger Perron under his wing. I’ll never forget King loaning Perron money so he could buy some shoes before Perron was issued a social security number and could cash his checks.
Dave Scatchard has switched his number to 38 for tonight’s game. He should help the Blues in the face-off department.
McClement knows the Blues expect and need more form him. For some reason his overall game has taken a dip as he’s been falling down and making uncharacteristic mistakes defensively. This guy is a pro’s pro and Blues fans should look for him to rebound.
More to come,
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