While the sting is still being felt from the Blackhawks game on Wednesday night the Blues get ready to play Nashville on Saturday, getting ready to close up shop for the season. For those Blues fans who stopped paying attention to playoff spots once we were mathematically eliminated (or for some of you that stopped paying attention in January), or those who only care about their team, I’ll fill you in; Nashville is guaranteed a playoff spot after they beat Columbus tonight (Friday) 4-1 at home. Tomorrow night’s game is pretty much the optional cherry on top for Nashville – they could win or lose and are still guaranteed a playoff berth. The Predators are poised to score 100 points, with tomorrow night’s game on the line and Nashville in wait with 99 points the Blues are essentially playing to keep them from reaching that goal. Oh, and the shreds of pride that may be left. And let’s not forget St. Louis’ best friend, Jordin Tootoo. You don’t remember Jordin Tootoo, you say? I’ll refresh your memory!
I’m not going to say it was a suckerpunch, no, but I will say that it was a cheap move. Some argue that Reaves had skated out of his lane, thus provoking Tootoo in to what ended up being his second minor infraction/penalty.
Oh, but that’s not all, my friends! It’s two for the price of one. This hit on Carlo Colaiacovo dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Referees sent Tootoo off for the night in accordance with the NHL rules against charging, as it was ruled he charged Colaiacovo at full speed and left his feet. I wasn’t at the game, I’m not a ref and all I have to base my opinion on is this (not that great) YouTube video “evidence”. Either way, it’s certainly not how you make a good impression on people and is a great way to get in the express lane of “dirty” players and “goonery”.
With this being the 82nd game of the year, and having gone through perhaps my craziest season full of ups and downs and emotional turmoil at every opportunity (also known as injuries and trades), I can’t really tell you what to expect. David Backes is tied with his 2008-2009 season high of 31 points, here’s hoping he can add another notch to that belt. Kevin Shattenkirk is the lead scoring defensemen and is still only a rookie, any time spent watching him develop is time well spent (and lots of fun). Guys like Reaves and Janssen bring the power and are fan favorites because of their physical play. Alex Pietrangelo is a Calder-worthy player and despite his inability to actually win has blown people away this season. Really, I don’t know what to tell you what to expect during tomorrow night’s bittersweet final game of the season. Thank God it’s at least in our house. Tomorrow night is Fan Appreciation Night and includes giveaways at nearly every stop in play as well as the always fun “jersey’s off their back” giveaway (go to the St. Louis Blues website for more detailed Fan Appreciation Night giveaways and information). Wish me luck, I’m hoping for the Nikita Nikitin jersey…it’s all mine!