ST. LOUIS BLUES
at VANCOUVER CANUCKS
February 17th, 2013
Vancouver, British Columbia
8:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Season Series is 0-0
Sunday marks the first of four meetings between the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks and the first of two that will be held in Rogers Arena. The St. Louis Blues are coming into tonight’s game on a two game winning streak after losing five straight. Led by rookie goaltender Jake Allen, the Blues seem to have found their game once again as the Blues defense has been playing some great hockey while the offense has found their scoring touch once again. After blowing a 3-1 lead against the Dallas Stars in the third period on Friday, the Vancouver Canucks will be looking to pick one up at home tonight. The Canucks may be first in their division but only one point separates the two teams overall in the Western Conference.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
(8-5-1, 3rd in Central)
The St. Louis Blues are a team that has been through the worst and come out on top. After having the “homestand from hell” as Coach Ken Hitchcock put it, the Blues have snapped their losing streak and found the game that made them one of the elite teams in the league once again. After an overtime win in Detroit, the Blues managed to storm past the Calgary Flames on Friday to show themselves, the fans, and teams around the league that the Blues are still very much for real. While it was thought that Jaroslav Halak may be back from injury in time to take on the Vancouver Canucks, rookie Jake Allen will get his third straight start looking for his third straight win.
Alex Steen is on fire. In the past five games Steen has managed to make in on the board and has scored in the last four. To be exact, Steen has nine points in his last five games and does not appear to be slowing at all as he netted a goal and two assists on Friday night against the Flames. Tonight Steen will look to make it a five goal scoring streak
Kevin Shattenkirk continues to put up points this season and continues to show his offensive presence for the Blues. With five assists in his last five games, Shattenkirk has a total of 14 points this season with one goal and 13 assists. Shatty looked solid on the blue line in the past two games and will look to keep jumping into the play tonight when the Blues hope to best the Canucks.
Others to watch
David Perron tends to score goals in bunches and this season has been no exception. The most recent burst came on Friday against the Flames when Perron scored a pair making his season point total jump to 11 with five goals and six assists. When Perron has confidence he has the ability to be a big factor in any game. While other teams may be focusing on Vladimir Tarasenko, it is possible for Perron to sneak in and score. Tonight Perron may be able to build on what he managed Friday.
Jake Allen will get his third straight start, and, after a great performance in Calgary, his confidence level should be high. While Blues fan and management alike would love to see Jaroslav Halak back healthy and in net for the Note, but Hitchcock is riding the rookie goalie who seems to be helping the team regain their form. Allen will have a big task tonight facing one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL and will have to prove he can outplay a veteran.
(8-3-2, 1st in Northwest)
The Vancouver Canucks have gotten a ton of attention for their situation in goal, but the Canucks have had there share of problems this year and that don’t involve trying to trade one of the league’s most elite goaltenders. With chronic injuries the Canucks have managed to still play above average and it shows as they are first in their division. After a tough loss on home ice Friday, the Canucks will look to take advantage of young Allen and start a winning streak of their own.
Henrik Sedin is always a player to watch and on Friday night he scored career point number 757 passing Markus Naslund as the Canucks all-time points leader. Coming into tonight’s game, Sedin and his twin brother will hope to put Friday behind them and continue putting up points on a regular basis. With a rookie in net, look for the veteran Sedin, or his brother, to take advantage of any holes that are available. We could see Henrik increase his point total even further tonight.
Others to watch
Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks in scoring this season with four goals and eight assists, brother Henrik only has 10 assists and has yet to net a goal, and will look to keep on rolling against the Blues. Daniel may not have the spotlight right now given his brothers accomplishment, but he is still managing to lead the team on the ice. The twin brothers are always a threat so make sure to keep an eye on them tonight.
The St. Louis Blues need to win a third straight tonight against the Canucks to show that they are capable of overcoming adversity even with a major injury to the team. The Canucks on the other hand need to show their home town fans that they are serious and after losing a two goal lead are able to best one of the better teams in the league. Tonight could be a very close, physical game or it could prove to be a blow out. Let’s hope for the former and let’s hope that everyone shows up to play tonight.
Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight. LET’S GO BLUES!