St. Louis Blues: January 7 The Day To Bring Back Old School Hockey

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 19: Kyle Brodziak
ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 19: Kyle Brodziak /

The NHL is a very entertaining product overall and they have done a good job of bringing in some outside fans. However, there are nights where old school hockey needs to happen and hopefully we’ll get one of those in the New Year.

The St. Louis Blues faced the Washington Capitals twice in the 2017 and each time came out the other side worse for wear. Normally inter-conference games don’t breed much hatred, but that might not be the case going forward.

When the St. Louis Blues played the Capitals back on September 22, they won the game and the war so to speak, but Tom Wilson won a battle within the game. He took out Robert Thomas in that game and was suspended for two games.

The suspension came after the league reviewed the hit and deemed it excessive and forceful. Fortunately for the Blues, Thomas was alright. He went on to have a good preseason even though he did not make the team.

The odd thing is the suspension did not teach Wilson anything. He missed the two games, then came back to play the Blues again on October 1 and found himself in the same situation.

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Wilson boarded Samuel Blais in the preseason finale. Again, the Blues were fortunate in that Blais was not seriously injured. He missed the rest of that game, but was fine and will be ready to start the season in San Antonio in the AHL.

Wilson tried to explain it away saying he tried to get in position on the right side of Blais to make the hit. The NHL disagreed.

According to the Washington Post, the league’s explanation was Wilson’s approach made it to where he would never be in position to deliver a legal hit.

Originally, it did not appear as though the second hit would garner a suspension. Eventually, the league took Wilson out for the first four games of the season. He did acknowledge that he has to change, in that same NBC Sports article.

"“I think they are trying to send me a message here, and I’ve got to listen to it and adapt.”"

Wilson does not appear to be a dirty player. In his first four seasons in the NHL he has never been suspended and only fined once.

How quickly you can pick up a reputation – with one team anyway. The Blues need to be out for revenge.

Nobody is calling for anything dirty. St. Louis does not need to be out for blood. They do need to stick up for themselves though.

Two suspensions from one guy and two potentially injured players cannot be let to slide. The Blues have to have Wilson’s number in the back of their minds.

Without Ryan Reaves, it will need to be by committee. However it happens, Wilson needs to know he played the Blues for the next week after.

This would be a perfect situation for Chris Thorburn to step up. There will be plenty of time for him to establish himself with the Blues before this game, but if there was ever a chance to drop the gloves, the game against Washington would be it.

St. Louis will need to have a long memory. The Blues do not play the Capitals until January 7. That’s plenty of time for the blood to cool, but the Blues can’t let that happen.

Again, no need for anything dirty. No stick work or hits from behind.

Put him into the boards every chance you get. Give him some bruises. Make him remember not to mess with the Blues.

This will be the perfect chance for the Blues to show they are a different team. When Reaves was here, they left all the dirty work to him.

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They need to stick up for each other as a unit now. If Vladimir Tarasenko can throw a check at this guy, he should. If Jay Bouwmeester or Carl Gunnarsson or Vince Dunn can put a stick in his back a couple times with a “legal” crosscheck, good for them.

This is more about the Blues than any personal vendetta against Wilson. The Blues need to toughen up as a group. They need to show they will not be pushed around.

It’s great they are adding skill and speed. Sometimes a little old school hockey is called for though. Hopefully we see some of that on January 7.