Tonight at the HP Pavilion, the San Jose Sharks (11-2-0) host the St. Louis Blues (5-6-0). Both teams were off to a meteoric rise, but while the Men in Teal kept the surge going, the Blues, after going 4-1 in their first 5 games, have won just 1 in their last 6 (against Florida in St. Louis, the night after the Cats beat the Sharks in Sunrise).
At the risk of continuing a political motif post-Election Day, I find it curious that the current losing streak of the Blues coincides with the second ceremonial puck drop of a certain vice presidential candidate (the Blues were shutout by the KINGS that night, 0-4).
Last night, the Blues were dealt a double blow at the hands of the Ducks, as they lost former Mighty Duck Paul Kariya (and the current St. Louis points leader - who was booed every time he touched the puck by his former fans) to a lower body injury, and subsequently lost the game in Anaheim, 5-2. Incidentally, one of the Blues goals came from former Duck Andy McDonald.
Four days earlier, the Blues lost to Pittsburgh at home, 3-6... one minor consolation for the loss was that St. Louis (specifically rookie Patrik Berglund) scored its 10,000th franchise goal.
St. Louis is playing without goalie Manny Legace (hip flexor), defenseman Erik Johnson (out indefinitely with torn ACL and MCL), center T.J. Oshie (ankle sprain), and left wing D.J. King (out for the season with shoulder surgery). Filling in for Legace tonight - either former Predator Chris Mason, who made 22 saves on 26 shots against Anaheim last night, or Ben Bishop (1-0-0, 2 games played).
Needless to say, the Blues will be thirsting for a much-needed win tonight - and the Sharks need to be ready for a desperate, albeit tired, team. Players looking to score - Keith Tkachuk (8 goals, 9 points) and Brad Boyes (7 goals, 11 points). Both have a minus rating (-6 and -9 respectively). Tkachuk is without a point in his last 5 games against the Sharks.
Let's keep it that way. GO SHARKS!