St. Louis Blues Vs. Boston Bruins: Pregame News And Notes

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 10: Vladimir Tarasenko
ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 10: Vladimir Tarasenko /
facebooktwitterreddit

It’s the St. Louis Blues against the Boston Bruins tonight. It has become a semi-rivalry between these two teams as they’ve traded wins the last few years.

The St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins have history together, despite being on opposite ends of the conference battles. Sadly, Blues fans are forced to watch Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring on them year after year. If it was not such an amazing moment, it would be sickening.

Nevertheless, even over the past few seasons these two franchises have had a little mini-rivalry. It’s nothing you’ll hear mentioned on NBC or anything, but the games have been a little rougher than your normal inter-conference games.

St. Louis is going to be up against it tonight. Not only are they playing one of the hottest teams in the league, but they’re going up against the best defense as well.

Much like the Colorado game, the Bruins had their win streak snapped one game before playing the Blues. The Bruins are a little better than Colorado though.

The Blues will have to have their best right from the start in this one. If you have another first period like they did against Montreal, despite the final result, you will lose.

It’s going to be an extremely tough game for the Blues to win. It should be a good measuring stick for them at this time in the season, especially with the trade deadline now just a few weeks away.

Know Thy Enemy

The Boston Bruins currently sit in second place in the Atlantic Division. They come into tonight’s game with an overall record of 29-11-8 for 66 points.

Mentally this should be a good test for the Blues from a points perspective. Boston is one point up on the Blues in the standings, but have played four fewer games. That will be the case quite a bit for St. Louis opponents until the end of the season when games even out.

As mentioned, the Bruins are one of the hotter teams in the NHL right now. They are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. That one loss in regulation came in a 3-1 defeat to Anaheim on January 30.

Also as mentioned, the Bruins have the best defense in the league in terms of goals allowed. They have allowed only 119 goals. The next closest team is Los Angeles with 121 and the Blues have allowed 130.

More from Analysis

The Bruins are led in scoring by Brad Marchand, who has 21 goals and 50 points. He will miss tonight’s game serving a suspension for elbowing a New Jersey player in the head prior to the All-Star break.

The Bruins are similar to St. Louis in the slow start category. Their team website says they have allowed the opponent to score first in their last eight games.

Blues Tidbits

The Blues enter tonight’s game with 65 points and a record of 31-18-3. They are technically in third in the Central, based on games played. We will have to root for the Kings tonight as they play Nashville in Nashville.

St. Louis comes into tonight 6-3-1 in their last 10. That’s not a bad mark, considering it doesn’t feel like they’ve played all that well.

These two teams have split each season series for the last three years. The home team has lost each of the last two seasons as well.

The Blues sent Oskar Sundqvist down to San Antonio in the AHL yesterday. While it is likely a simple roster move made because the Blues had two extra forwards, it has the rumor mill beginning to churn again.

Yesterday alone, the Blues were paired with two Montreal names. Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk are the hot names right now.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of either one. Not so much because of their talent, but the rumored prices Montreal wants are more than the Blues need to be paying.

Projected Lineup from the team website:

Forwards

Ivan Barbashev – Paul Stastny – Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz – Brayden Schenn – Alexander Steen
Vladimir Sobotka – Patrik Berglund – Tage Thompson
Scottie Upshall – Kyle Brodziak – Dmitrij Jaskin

Defense

Joel Edmundson – Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester – Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn – Robert Bortuzzo

Goalie

Jake Allen

Cue the mad tweets and angry Facebook posts about Allen being in goal.  I’m not quite sure about playing him against Boston, but it had to happen eventually.

The preference might have been to play him in Buffalo, but it is what it is.  The Blues need Allen playing well whether you, personally, consider him the starter or backup right now.

A couple other bits: The Blues begin their somewhat-annual father’s trip tonight. The dads flew with the team and will be there to see tonight’s game in Boston and the following game against Buffalo.

Also, former Blue, Red Berenson was named a Legend of College Hockey by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation.

Where To Watch

Television:

Fox Sports Midwest or NESN

Streaming:

Fox Sports Go, NHL.tv (subscriber fee)

Radio:

KMOX, KMOX.com, Blues app

Tonight’s game will have the puck drop around 6 pm Central Time since it is in Boston.

Next: Blues Should Move Tarasenko Up A Line

Predictions

For the first time since I’ve started doing these previews, I don’t have a good feeling about this game. The Blues do have a good record against Eastern opponents at 16-7-1, but they have not done well against Boston in recent years.

I think the Blues struggle against a tough defense and fall 3-1.  St. Louis is 8-1-0 in their last nine in Boston though, so hopefully I’m wrong.

If they manage to win, I think it will be a 3-2 score due to playing in front of the dads.