Matchup: St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks.
Where: Scottrade Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV: TSN, NBC Sports
Radio: Y98 FM
It is never too early in the season to make a statement.
The Blues have already made one statement on the young season, beating the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 9. Alex Steen‘s last minute goal on national television showed the hockey world that the Blues are serious contenders in the Western Conference.
On Tuesday night, the Blues will have a chance to make another statement- once again on national television- as the San Jose Sharks come to Scottrade Center for a battle of undefeated teams.
The Sharks (5-0) have overwhelmed their opponents so far this season, leading the league with 24 goals scored, while only allowing a paltry seven goals (tied for second in the league with the Blues).
San Jose is led by young rookie Tomas Hertl, who has taken the NHL by storm. He has posted a league-high seven goals through his first five games, including a goal against Martin Biron that made hockey traditionalists have a collective stroke.
Hertl injured his shoulder in Saturday’s games against the Ottawa Senators, but is expected play on Tuesday.
The Sharks will be looking for a bit of revenge against the Blues. They have lost six out of their last seven against the Note, and are being outscored 20-10 during that stretch.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It:
For the fifth straight game since opening night, Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock will roll will the same lineup.
Few can find any fault with this strategy. The Blues are not only undefeated, but several forward lines and defensive pairings are developing serious chemistry with each other. Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie are putting up top line numbers, while Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester continue to develop into one of the most formidable defensive pairs in the entire league.
However, expect some of the players in the press box to get their first action of the season on the upcoming road trip. According to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Hitchcock has indicated that Magnus Paajarvi, Adam Cracknell, Ian Cole and Brian Elliott should all see action in either the Chicago or Winnipeg games on Thursday and Friday respectively.
“You’ve got to make them part of the team too. Are you trying to win a few games or are you trying to build a team?”
“I think if you try and build a team, then you include everybody. I’ve always believed we’re a team of 23, not 20 plus three. There’s a big difference.”
Alexander Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo