ST. LOUIS BLUES vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS
May 10th, 2013
Los Angeles, California
9:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Kings lead Blues in Series 3-2
ST. LOUIS BLUES
(2-3-0, in Series)
The Blues enter tonight’s game against the L.A. Kings down for the first time in the series 3-2-0. It is clear, that the game in L.A. tonight is the most important game in many of these players careers.
The most experienced players that the Blues have on the roster, Jordan Leopold (Cup Finals in Calgary) and Andy McDonald (Stanley Cup Champion with Anaheim) have been two of the weaker links in the Blues roster and really have to step up their game if the Blues are going to win game six and force a game seven at home in St. Louis.
It looks like the roster will remain the same for the Blues in game six and the scratches will be Jake Allen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kris Russell, Ian Cole, Evgeny Grachev, Andrew Murray, Dmitrij Jaskin, Taylor Chorney, Jeff Woywitka, and Jani Hakanpaa.
Brian Elliott – 5 GP – 2-3-0 – 1.88GAA – .925
Elliott has to shake off the game five overtime goal and get his head back on straight in order to win game six in Los Angeles. When Slava Voynov put the puck past Elliott in overtime on Wednesday night, the team seemed dejected. That said, headed into the morning skate this morning, Elliott seemed to be in very high spirits along with the rest of the team. Elliott has to have a very strong game in order for the Blues to get a victory tonight in game six.
Andy McDonald – Scott Neer, TSNPHOTOGRAPHY
Andy McDonald – 5 GP – 0G – 0A – 9 Shots
Andy McDonald is one of the few Blues players with the experience in the Stanley Cup finals. He led the Anaheim Ducks in scoring in the finals round of the Playoffs when they beat Ottawa to win the Stanley Cup back in 2007. He’s been invisible for the Blues this year, as he looks to have lost a step and is getting physically dominated in the five games in this series. He continues to turn the puck over anytime he enters the offensive zone and needs to get in control of the puck for the Blues to start producing offense.
Chris Stewart – 5 GP – 0G – 1A – 16 Shots
Despite being tied with Alex Steen for team lead in shots, you wouldn’t even know that Chris Stewart has been playing in this series. He, along with line-mates Andy McDonald and Vladimir Sobotka have been the worst line for the Blues in the five games. Physically, they haven’t done their job, offensively, they aren’t getting any prime scoring chances. Stewart in particular needs to start driving hard to the net and causing a havoc in front of Jonathan Quick. He hasn’t done any of that and as a result, his line hasn’t produced any offensive zone time or any prime scoring chances.
LOS ANGLES KINGS
(3-2-0, in Series)
Mike Richards – 5 GP – 5 A – 2 PIM – 10 Shots
Richards has done a pretty good job at staying out of the penalty box and really producing for his Kings club. Leading all players in assists and points (5), he has been the playmaker for the Kings offense. The Blues really need to keep sticks in the passing lanes around Richards because he can thread the needle better than most in the National Hockey League.
Jeff Carter – 5 GP – 3 G – (+/-) -1 – 15 Shots
Carter has shown time and time again, that if you leave him in a high scoring area, he can put the puck in the net and he has continued to do that this series. His three goals leads the Kings and he continuously gets to the open areas. The Blues need to play Carter physically if they want to throw him off his game.
Jonathan Quick – 5 GP – 3-2-0 – 1.69 GAA – .942 SV%
Jonathan Quick remains to be the difference in the series for the Kings. The Blues have thrown pucks galore at him and he is still making the jaw dropping saves that leaves you speechless. He will slide across the crease after looking to be way out of position and gets his toe on the puck and it has to be in the Blues heads. They have to shake that out of their heads and keep driving hard to Quick in order to put the puck in the net.
It’s do or die time, win or go home for St. Louis. If the Blues get on their fore-check early, they have a chance take the crowd out of the game and control the pace of the game. They have to control the lines, which is something they have struggled with in the last three games. They have to have a quick transition game with very smart pinches to keep control of the puck. The more they control the puck and control the lines, the better their chances to win game six.
The pressure is on the Kings to finish the series off at home. They know the Blues are going to be playing desperation hockey and if they can weather the early storm and get the crowd into the game early, they can take control of the game and get a victory.
Tonight is going to be about who wants it more. Do the Kings want to win at home badly enough, or are the Blues going to want revenge from Wednesday night? It’s going to be a big mans game and whoever wins tonight will have to earn it.
– #33 Willie Mitchell (D), IR w/ Lower-body injury (Knee), had arthroscopic surgery to scope knee. Mitchell will NOT return this season.
– #2 Matt Greene ‘A’ (D), Day-to-Day w/ Undisclosed but NOT related to recent Back Issue, questionable for Game 4 against St. Louis.
– #15 Jamie Langenbrunner (RW/LW), On IR w/ Hip surgery, out indefinitely and will miss the remainder of the season.
– #12 Scott Nichol (C), Day-to-Day w/ Lower-Body injury, out indefinitely, remains questionable for the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Los Angeles.
It’s a big night for the Blues, who can take a strangle hold with a win tonight!
LETS GO BLUES!
– Randall Ritchey