ST. LOUIS BLUES
at CALGARY FLAMES
February 15th, 2013
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
8:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Season Series is 0-0
Friday night marks the first time this season that the St. Louis Blues will take on the Calgary Flames. These two teams have a long history including trades that brought Brett Hull and Al MacInnis to St. Louis. Last season the Blues took three of the four games against the Flames, but both teams are struggling to find wins right now and tonight should be a battle.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
(7-5-1, 4th in Central)
The St. Louis Blues are fresh off ending their five game losing streak and will hope to continue the success they saw through the last two periods and overtime on Wednesday night in Detroit. Led by rookie goaltender Jake Allen, the St. Louis Blues managed to sneak past the Red Wings in a 4-3 overtime win. Tonight the Note will hope to get 2 points without needing overtime, but much of the responsibility will be on the shoulders of the Blues defense. Against Detroit, the defense failed in the first period causing the Blues to quickly fall behind 2-0 in the game. If they can play their game they should be able to snuff out any offensive chances the Flames can muster allowing the Blues to get another 2 points and move up the standings in the Central Division.
Alex Steen has a goal in each of the last three games and points in the last four. After a slow start it appears Steener has found his game and having netted the overtime winner in Detroit his confidence level should be high. Tonight Steen will look to add to his point streak and if the St. Louis offense is clicking it should be an easy task. I am not sure Steen can score another one tonight, but I would put money on him being a setup man.
Jake Allen will get his second straight start for the Blues and his first consecutive start of his NHL career. During Wednesday night’s game, Allen looked shaky at times but very poised at others. The main part of Allen’s impact on the team is the push his teammates have to succeed for him. The defense knows Allen needs all the help he can get being a rookie and it seems to make the defense play stronger around him. We saw moments against Detroit where Allen showed flashes of brilliance and with the confidence of a win under his belt, hopefully we will see more of that.
Others to watch
Vladimir Tarasenko is back on the scoreboard as he posted his sixth goal of the season in the game against Detroit. Tarasenko can be a threat on the ice at any time and against a Flames team that hasn’t seen him play in person Tarasenko may be able to get in under the radar. Blues fans well know what Tarasenko is capable of if given the space so look for Vladdy to continue scoring tonight against a team having issues in net.
(4-4-3, 4th in Northwest)
After a rough start to their season, the Flames are looking for a way to win games on a regular basis. With untimely injuries, Calgary’s game in January was awful, but coming into February the team is starting to see some players return. The key to Calgary’s game is finding a way to keep pucks out of the net. Their offense has not had a hard time scoring, but their defense has looked terrible. With Mikka Kiprusoff out of the lineup, the Flames goaltending situation is similar to the Blues. The Flames have been searching for a way to fill the void with Kipper and picked up Joey MacDonald off of waivers to fill in for the time being.
Michael Cammalleri is back in the lineup for the Flames and he is quickly making his presence know. Scoring a hat trick on Wednesday night, it looks like Cammalleri is going to be an impact player for the Flames this season. While Jarome Iginla has struggled to get scoring this season, Cammalleri is ho at the right time.
Others to watch
Jay Bouwmeester is a strong veteran defenseman that the St. Louis Blues have shown an interest in before. With the season winding on and the Blues having some issues on the back end, tonight is a chance for Blues fans to get a better look at JayBo. While St. Louis would probably have to give up something good to get him away from the Flames, there is still a chance that GM Doug Armstrong would make the move to bring JayBo to St. Louis. He might not be playing his best hockey right now, but he is still someone to keep an eye on.
Both the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames are hungry for wins so tonight is going to be a fun game to watch. With both teams struggling and injuries to both teams starting goalies, game play should be fast paced and there is the possibility that this will be a high scoring game.
Jaroslav Halak is still out of the lineup for the St. Louis Blues as is Jamie Langenbrunner who could undergo hip surgery today. Langenbrunner will be out for the rest of the season. For the Flames, Lance Bouma is also out for the rest of the season after injuring his knee. To add to the Flames troubles, Mikka Kiprusoff is still on the injured list along with Sven Baertschi (hip injury) and Mikael Backland (knee injury).
Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight. LET’S GO BLUES!