Had it not been for several injuries, “I believe the St. Louis Blues could have challenged the Detroit Red Wings for the division title this season.” Blues radio play-by-play guy, Chris Kerber, on NHL radio yesterday afternoon.
That’s one man’s opinion.
However, at this point, the St. Louis Blues don’t have much to play for – except pride.
They last made the playoffs under former Kings coach Andy Murray two seasons ago. He was then let go a few months into the following season when it was thought the team was underachieving. Ninth place was where they finished then and they currently sit in 13th place.
So, in many respects they may be further away from postseason play than they were two years ago. Add to that the fact that some of their best players were traded away over the last month and now their most veteran presence is Andy MacDonald – yes, the former Duck.
Even so, the Kings can’t take this game lightly – especially considering the Blues have won all three games between the two teams this season.
Cam Janssen, their resident agitator and part-time fighter, is probably itching to get into the game. He’s only played once against LA all year, when they met up in St. Louis back on December 16th.
Prior to that game he was a guest on MayorsManor and had this to say about the possibility of squaring off with one of the Kings…
MM: The three Kings players most likely to end up in a scrap would be Kevin Westgarth, Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds. You’ve never fought any of them. So, what type of scouting have you been doing?CJ: I’ve seen them on HockeyFights.com and I’ve watched to see what they do. Kyle Clifford is a young kid and if he wants to go, we’re going to go. I know he’s pretty wild when he throws and I know what I’m going to do against him. A guy like Westgarth, he’s a big boy. He throws pretty heavy and I know he’s a righty. So, I have different strategies for those two guys. I’ll fight them in a totally different way and we’ll just go from there. Maybe the first fight we’ll kinda get used to each other and then when we play each other again later in the year it might change. We’ll see what works better.
Nothing happened that night. However, Westgarth will be back in the line-up tonight, joining the always game Clifford. So, Janssen will have the opportunity to properly introduce himself – and test his research – with either if he so chooses.
After playing last night in Anaheim, it’s not known yet if the Blues will start Jaroslav Halak in back-to-back games or if Ty Conklin will get the nod in net (he’s 1-0 vs. the Kings this season, 6-1 lifetime).
LA will start Jonathan Quick in goal – he’s 0-1 this season and 1-6 vs. the Blues in his career.
Anze Kopitar has the hottest hand though, with 17 points in his last 11 games.
Dustin Brown will be looking to regain the team scoring lead, after being surpassed by Kopitar on the just completed road trip. He currently trails by three goals. In his 24 career games vs. the Blues, Brown has 12 goals – giving him a 50% chance of scoring tonight.
Interview with Andy Murray – former Kings coach talking Luc, Lappy, Blake, Avery, etc.
Full Interview with Cam Janssen – talking fighting, charity, his nickname and more