The Blues appeared, dare I say, somewhat soft when they lost on the road at Columbus Tuesday night. The Blue Jackets. despite being in last place in the entire league, looked tough and beat the Blues at their own game. We saw a familiar Blues team that couldn’t score a lot of goals. With four tough opponents in Minnesota, Chicago, Boston, and Nashville coming up the Blues need to refocus against the New York Islanders. This is the perfect opportunity at home where the Blues have been nearly unbeatable. I expect the team to play with some urgency, given that another loss would kill the offensive momentum the Blues have been gathering as of late. This is momentum the Blues cannot afford to lose.
I never thought I’d be so eager to watch a game including the Islanders, but this game is too crucial for me not to be. The Blues don’t need to just pull out a win, they need to handle the Isles easily. If the Blues can keep up their scoring surge, they will enter the next four game stretch with some confidence. If the Blues can muster some more confidence and exit that stretch with at least three wins, then the team will have a good indication of how they may perform in the playoffs. I’ll have a close eye on Andy McDonald and David Perron, as they have both been interesting pieces of the Blues offense for the past few games. It would be great to see McDonald have a big game.
While I am personally not too worried about the Blues’ loss to the Jackets, Ken Hitchcock was less than pleased. Hitchcock announced he will be moving Chris Stewart down to the fourth line. I think this is a pretty slick move which should hopefully motivate the vastly underachieving Stewart.
Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo injured his wrist during practice on Wednesday. Fortunately, it doesn’t look to be too serious. If he can’t play against the Isles, Kent Huskins will be in the lineup. Huskins has only played in nine games this season, after suffering an ankle injury October 28th in Calgary and undergoing surgery.
Jason Arnott will be making his return after four games since he suffered a bruised shoulder against the LA Kings on February 3rd.