St. Louis Blues Morning Links: Round Two, Ding Ding

Apr 2, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) checks Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) checks Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Good morning Blues fans! The semi-long wait is over and the team gets back on the ice tonight. They will be at home to open round two against another divisional opponent.

The St. Louis Blues finally return to the ice at the Scottrade Center tonight. In actuality, there really were not that many days off. St. Louis was inactive for three days. It felt like an eternity when you get used to games just about every other day.

The Blues begin Round 2, aka the Conference Semifinals, tonight. They’ll be facing another familiar foe in the Nashville Predators.

For the second straight year, the Blues will be unable to escape Central Division opponents until a potential third round. Granted, that is part of the new playoff format, but when the Wild Card team upends the top seed, you figure maybe you’d see someone else.

Not so in this case. The Blues and Predators face off in Game 1 tonight, sometime after 7 pm.

It will be much of the same for the Blues. They face another intensely skilled and fast team capable of putting goals in the back and very few people are giving them a shot in this one again.

By this time, the Blues should be used to that. Nobody gave them a shot against Minnesota or Chicago the last two first rounds and few gave them a chance against Dallas last year or Nashville this year.

So, underdogs it is then. Nobody on the Blues is going to bat an eye. It’s just about getting down to work and doing the job at hand.

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Home ice may have a huge impact on this series, based on regular season results. St. Louis was winless in two games in Nashville and lost by a margin of almost 5-2 (4.5 to be exact). The Blues went 2-1 in their home games against the Preds with an average score of 2.3-2.

While regular season games usually have little bearing on playoff success, the Blues will want to be wary. They cannot have a game similar to the one back on December 13 where the Blues had a lead, only to see it evaporate and eventually fall 6-3.

This will be the very first time these two divisional rivals see each other in the postseason. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

These two teams usually play incredibly tight games. Over the last four years, only three games have been decided by two goals. The rest were one goal differences or blowouts by one side or the other.

It would be nice to see a couple of those in favor of the Blues, but don’t expect that to happen. While the point is being way overblown, this is the team that just swept the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the end, it may be a battle of mistakes. The teams cancel out a lot of what the other does.

Nashville wants to bring it in with speed and the Blues clog up the neutral zone. St. Louis wants to forecheck but the Preds have quick defenders that move the puck well. The goaltenders are just about a wash.

With that all canceling out the other, it may be about which team can force or capitalize on the most mistakes. Hopefully it is the Blues.

We will soon see.  It’s time to ring the bell on Round 2.

Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.

No more games will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest. While Kenny Albert does a good job, we will have to suffer through Pierre McGuire. For those of you with the patience to do it, you can listen to the KMOX feed and try to pause your TV enough to get them to match up. (KMOX)

A fraternity in Columbia is trying to stir up a bet with Predator celebrity fan, Carrie Underwood. Thankfully, unlike some college guys, they aren’t seeking to make a name for themselves or get dates. It is a very charitable endeavor they are seeking. (STLToday)

Fans or media that only look at the stat sheet and formulate opinions based on that will say the Blues stars had a bad series in round 1. However, the team is not looking at it that way as some of their main guys put their heart in and finally were rewarded in Game 5 against Minnesota. (Post-Dispatch)

Speaking of stars, the Blues had exclusive sit down interviews with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz. Their broadcasters might have less to do with national TV, but they all chipped in for a series preview. (Blues)

A few days after maligned forward Magnus Paajarvi sent the Wild packing, another maligned forward saved the season – at least for a night – for the Chicago Wolves. The Blues AHL affiliate lived to fight another day. (Wolves)

The future of United States Hockey is bright with stars like Auston Matthews. Unfortunately, the team will be without the 19 year old phenom during the IIHF World Championships as he has elected to rest. (NHL)

Last week, we had a link discussing how Erik Karlsson played with hairline fractures in his heel. To further prove hockey players are a different breed, Patrice Bergeron was playing with something potentially even more painful and dangerous. (ESPN)

Have a great day Blues fans!