Blues Getting Healthy For Playoffs

By Tony Moreno

Tonight the St. Louis Blues will welcome back Matt D’Agostini, Roman Polak, and Andy McDonald.  Carol Colaiacovo will sit tonight as the Blues host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.  The Blues have not sported a full healthy team in quite sometime and this team is showing some serious depth for the playoffs.  On the offense, it looks as Jaden Schwartz will not be playing along with Ryan Reaves, Chris Porter, and BJ Crombeen.  If the Blues weren’t already favorites for the Western Conference now, they certainly are knocking on the door with a full team.

Tonight the Blues will have a chance to clinch the Central Division and to also get ahead of the New York Rangers for a shot at the Presidents Trophy.  The Blues have a good chance to do both of those tasks, especially with a full lineup tonight.  The Blue Jackets are currently last in the standings, and are going to look to finish the season strong hoping to carry that momentum into next season.  The Blues can not look past this game as the Blue Jackets would love nothing more than to beat the #1 team in the West.  Jack Johnson has proved to be a great addition to the team and if Rick Nash is to be traded, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jack Johnson wear the “C” on his jersey in the future.

Jaroslav Halak looks to be getting the start tonight and with the season dwindling down, there is still no clear cut starter for the playoffs.  Halak played a huge game on Thursday making 37 saves on 40 shots.  He came up big when he had to, and was left out to dry on the 2 on 0 goal by Patrick Sharp.  A strong game by Halak tonight will increase his chances for starting in the postseason, but Brian Elliot has also been playing great and is still hanging on to his 3 game shutout streak.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2 goalies alternate come the 1st round of the playoffs if both goalies continue to play this good.

I think I’m rooting more for the team to stay healthy rather than a President’s Trophy or 1st in the West or Central Division.  The only trophy that matters is the Stanley Cup and the Blues need a healthy team in order to compete and beat other top teams, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, or the Detroit Redwings.

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