St.Louis Blues vs Columbus Blue Jackets, 7pm (FSMW, KMOX)
BLUES (43-18-7) vs BLUE JACKETS (22-38-7)
At the Scottrade Center, St.Louis, Missouri
Blues (28-4-4) at Home
Jackets (9-20-4) on the Road
Blues (7-8-2) vs the Central
Jackets (3-13-2) vs the Central
Western Conference Standings
Team Stats and Previous Meetings This Season
Blues ---- 17.0% (15th)
Jackets -- 16.2% (22nd)
Blues ---- 83.7% (9th)
Jackets -- 76.6% (30th)
Goals For per game
Blues ---- 2.54 (20th)
Jackets -- 2.33 (27th)
Goals Against per game
Blues ---- 1.87 (1st)
Jackets -- 3.16 (29th)
5-on-5 For/Against Ratio
Blues ---- 1.42 (2nd)
Jackets -- 0.75 (29th)
Team Scoring Stats
Blues attempt to deny Jackets a fifth straight win
Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer
Last 10: Columbus 5-4-1; St. Louis 7-3-0
Season series: The Blues won the first two meetings of the season, but the Blue Jackets pulled out a 2-1 victory at home on Feb. 14. St. Louis won at Columbus, 2-1, on Nov. 27 and then at home on Dec. 18 by a 6-4 score.
Big Story: This is the front-end of a traditional home-and-home between the Central Division rivals. They also play Sunday in Columbus. Entering Friday the Blues were the Presidents' Trophy leaders with 93 points, one more than the Canucks. The Rangers, who have 91 points, were set to play Friday in Chicago.
Blue Jackets: They will not go quietly, and they're actually putting their potential No. 1 draft pick in jeopardy with their four-game winning streak. The Blue Jackets are seven points back of the Edmonton Oilers and each have 15 games to play.
But the Blue Jackets are dealing with some injury issues, as Fedor Tyutin could be gone for the rest of the season with a broken right hand and Derek MacKenzie missed Thursday's game with concussion-like symptoms. It didn't stop them from winning again, this time over Los Angeles by a 3-1 score.
Jack Johnson scored against his former team, his second goal in as many games, giving him 4 points in the last three games. He was also plus-2 and played more than 27 minutes for the second straight game.
"He's what you want in the organization," interim coach Todd Richards said in the Columbus Dispatch. "You want a guy that wants to be here. When you're a last-place team and you trade for a guy, sometimes you don't know what to expect. But here's a guy that comes in and says I want to be part of it, I want the challenge. That's what we need."
Blues: They've won three straight and haven't given up more than a goal in any of them. In fact, the last time the Blues gave up more than two goals in a game was on Feb. 22, when Boston beat St. Louis, 4-2, at Scottrade Center.
The latest defensive gem came against Anaheim on Thursday. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves and David Backes scored twice to put the Blues in front in the Presidents' Trophy race.
Halak has now won seven straight decisions, boasting a 1.40 goals-against average and .943 save percentage during the span. Halak's last loss was actually that 2-1 decision to Columbus on Feb. 14.
"I'm just trying to have fun out there and keep the guys in the game," Halak said after Thursday's win. "It's always great to win a few games in a row. It's a team effort. I wouldn't be able to do it without the guys."
Who's Hot: Blue Jackets center Derrick Brassard is on a five-game point-scoring streak. He has a goal and 5 assists during the streak.
Injury Report: The Blue Jackets are without Tyutin (broken hand) and likely MacKenzie (concussion-like symptoms). Steve Mason suffered a cut on his blocker hand midway through the second period Thursday, but returned to the bench and said he could have played if necessary. … For the Blues, Matt D'Agostini, Alex Steen and Kris Russell all have concussions. Jamie Langenbrunner is still out with a foot injury and Kent Huskins has missed the last two games with a bruised hand.
Stat Pack: The last time the Blues were leading in the Presidents' Trophy race this late in the season was exactly 12 years ago. … The Blues have killed off 35 straight power plays. They haven't allowed a power-play goal in the last 12 games. … St. Louis is now 35-0-0 when scoring at least three goals.
Puck Drop: The Blues have a League-best 60 points at home (28-4-4). They are 20-1-3 in their last 24 home games.
"We're not the most talented team in the National Hockey League," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We just find ways to win. That's what this team is about."
Probable Starting Goaltenders
6'3", 204 lbs, Age 26
From Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
2003 Ottawa 9th Round (291st Overall)
Let's keep the PP success rolling and jump all over the Jackets' dead last PK. Ironically the last goal the Blues' PK surrendered was that freak goal with 0.1 secs left in the first period against Columbus.
I'd be shocked if that deeply undermanned Red Wings team goes into Nashville and wins, so the Blues can quite potentially get to a 4.5 point lead (.5 to represent owning the tiebreaker) with each team having 13 games left.
Very much like the Blues getting the first game at home and then an immediate back to back game against the same team away. These games are always chippy. I can imagine almost no outcome of Saturday's game that wouldn't have the Blues coming out ready to play the next night.
Jackets have been playing better of late but if the Blues remain disciplined and take advantage of their much improved special teams, I think a home win in front of a Saturday crowd pumped to cheer the team with the best record in the NHL is likely. Hard to imagine a letdown in that situation.
Gotta maintain some distance between ourselves and Detroit. The Pacific race is so wild right now, hard to predict who we'd draw with the #1/2 seed, but as long as it allows us to dodge Nashville/Detroit in the first round I'd feel really good about our chances (although Preds-Blues would be an incredibly exciting series).
Wonder how healthy the Wings will be come playoff time.
Last edited by kittensmasher: 03-10-2012 at 09:54 AM.
J Johnson - Wisniewski
Moore / Lebda / A Johnson - Nikitin
the other two who didn't end up with Nikitin - those pairs got shuffled during the game on Thursday, started out as Moore - Nikitin but didn't stay that way.
Sanford in net
York backing up
Mason's cut was due to Moore getting shoved into the net and clipping Mason's blocker hand. Mason said the cut was "to the bone" on his pinky and it took 15 stitches to close.
The CBJ have success when the pressure is off. It is most definitely off at the moment. The arrival of J Johnson has made a big difference too. There is actually a defenseman on the team with power and stability who isn't afraid to hit people. His enthusiasm appears to be contagious.
The CBJ always seem to get up for games versus the Blues anyway and have fully embraced their "spoiler" role.
(I wouldn't mind a Blues win however, they need to continue in the "Fail for Nail" campaign. The last thing we need is some stupid win streak, along with an Edmonton losing streak, to finish the season.)
What happened to the home and homes? this is like our only one all year, seems like we used to have them against every team in our division at least once a season
In a possible new scheduling world where you play your conference mates eight times and every other team in the league once home and away, home-and-homes could be a featured aspect of the new league that fans would love. Sure, maybe the Blues wouldn't play Colorado more than twice now, but wouldn't an annual home-and-home be fun?