NHL Anaheim Ducks

Game Day Preview: New York Rangers @ St Louis Blues — 12/15/11

Overview:  The St. Louis Blues (17-9-3) will finish out their 5 game home stand (finally) tomorrow night when the New York Rangers (17-7-4) come to Scottrade.  The Rangers are the one of the best teams in the East right now and the Blues are fighting hard to try and get to the top of the West.  Brad Richards and the Rangers are coming off a tough loss to Richards’ former team, Dallas, 1-0 on home ice.  New York after coming off a awesome November, is kinda average this month and is 4-2-1.  On the other hand, the Blues might not remember how to play hockey since its been so long since they were asked to play.  4 days off is a 2 headed monster in my eyes.  A little more than a third of the way into the season and the rest will be nice but at the same time with as hot as the Blues have been they can be in danger of getting rusty with the time off.  Hopefully they do not come out flat in front of the home crowd.

Since their last game, the Blues have still managed to get all banged up.  Since they were almost all healthy again and hadn’t had an injury in a while it was fitting to find out that Vladimir Sobotka, a guy that can go out and give you 100% every game, is going to be out until 2012 (more than likely) with an ankle injury after taking a shot to the ankle in practice on Monday.  Evgeny Grachev has been called back up and he will be switched in and out of the lineup with Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves, depending on certain matchups.

Last Season:  Last year the Blues and Rangers met twice and split the two games with the road team winning both contests.  The Blues shut the Rangers out in NYC early in the season.  The Rangers returned the favor 2 months later and beat the Blues 2-1 back in St. Louis.

Favorite STL-NYR moment still remains the Cam Janssen v. Aaron Voros fight from 2 years ago.  AWESOMENESS!

Injury Report:  Blues- McDonald, Huskins, Crombeen, and Sobotka… Matt D’Agostini left the SJ game early after getting rocked in the 3rd period.  He is listed as probable.

For the Rangers-  They will be without the services of Marc Staal, Michael Sauer, Mike Rupp, and Wojtek Wolski.

Who’s Hot:  Goalie love alert!!!   The Blues and the Rangers have 2 of the best tandems in the NHL.  The Blues split time more than the Rangers do but both New York goaltenders are solid.  King Henrik is 12-6-4 with a GAA of 2.03 and a save % of 93.3.  Their backup, Marty Biron, is 5-1 and his GAA is under 2 with a SV% at 93.7.

The Blues goalies are not to shabby themselves.  Brian Elliott is among the best in the league at 12-2 and a GAA of 1.45 and save % of almost 95%  Jaro Halak, who might be considered the backup by most but not by Coach ‘Cock.  Jaro is 5-7-3 with a GAA that has dropped ALOT since the end of October and is down to 2.37 and a save percentage just about 90.

Prediction:  No matter the matchup between the pipes it is going to be a low scoring affair.  It really depends on how well the Blues come out and if the 4 days off helped them or hurt them.  Either way this could turn into a boring ass trap game but I think the 4 days off and the loss of Sobotka is going to hurt the Blues and they will go down 2-1 in a tough loss.