January 21, 2013
St. Louis Blues (1-0-0)
Nashville Predators (0-0-1)
5:00pm CST on FSMW and KMOX
Tonight the St. Louis Blues will be in Nashville to take on the Predators for the first of four meetings between the two Central Division teams. Last season the Nashville Predators had the Blues number winning four of the six games they played, but the St. Louis Blues did take the last two.
While Saturday night was just one game, the St. Louis Blues looked as though the lockout did not have an effect on the team. Once rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko scored his first NHL goal, the Blues never looked back. The St. Louis Blues powerplay looked better than it had in many, many years as the Blues managed to net 4 powerplay goals.
The St. Louis Blues defense also showed that it was still in form from last season, allowing just 14 shots from the Detroit Red Wings. Blues fans could not have asked for a better night to start off the season, but will have to keep in mind that it was just the first game.
Even so, if Saturday is telling of the Blues future, they have nothing to worry about. While Tarasenko was the story of the night scoring two goals including the game winner in his first ever NHL game, including one that made Detroit D-Man Kyle Quincey look silly, Chris Stewart also appeared ready to return to his form from two years ago.
Stewart scored two powerplay goals and is only 13 shy of the 15 he scored all of last season. This is a great sign for Blues fans. If Chris Stewart can find his scoring touch while Vladimir Tarasenko finds ways to score in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues may not have to worry so much about scoring by committee.
In addition to Tarasenko and Stewart, T.J. Oshie managed to get a great breakaway shot and could not be stopped. Patrik Berglund also found the back of the net on a deflection. While Saturday was the first time this season that the Blues have taken the ice, their offense was well prepared and looks ready to have a breakout year. Don’t forget too that players like David Backes, Andy McDonald, and David Perron are all known in the NHL for their scoring touch managing to put up decent points throughout the last few season. Add to that mix Jaden Schwartz, and the St. Louis Blues may have an unstoppable offense with a defense to back it up.
On the other side of the ice is the Nashville Predators. The Preds opened the season in Columbus and did not have quite the night that the St. Louis Blues had. While the Predators came out strong scoring two goals in the first period, Nashville looked sluggish later on the night and played a overall sloppy game. Coming off of their loss they are going to have a bit more energy in them and may be the first real challenge that the Blues will face. Captain Shea Weber had this to say about Nashville’s first game:
A little bit of timing was off, and guys on both sides were swinging away and not manning up I guess you can say, maybe used to summer hockey a little bit, but that will come and, and in a hurry I think it’s going to get a lot better.
While tonight’s game will not be an easy one for either side, it will be an important matchup in the Central Division. Look for the Predators to be on Vladimir Tarasenko and Chris Stewart, and expect players like Jaden Schwartz to pick up some points in tonight’s contest.
Let’s hope the Blues can pull off another great victory.
LET’S GO BLUES!