(s/t to Josh for his photochop work)
At the beginning of the season, few people expected that the St. Louis Blues would be this good. I don't think it's a secret that they've underachieved in the past few seasons. After a crazy late-season run in 2008-09 that resulted in their only postseason berth since the lockout, it was thought that the Blues would use that momentum to finally rise to the position of Central Division power. However, poor play and injuries seriously derailed their last 2 seasons, and they once again found themselves on the outside looking in once mid-April rolled around.
This year, there's no such concerns. After a 6-7 start, the Blues fire Davis Payne and hired Ken Hitchcock, and since then the Blues have been a juggernaut, going 23-5-6. They're doing it with defense, and whether you want to call it a trap or not, there's no question that the Blues' biggest strength is their ability to keep the puck out of their net. Headed into tonight's game, they currently have 29 wins, 9 less than they had all of last season. The Blues certainly seem to be for real, and they don't show any signs of going away. The game tonight should be a good one between two teams that are going to fight neck-and-neck for the division crown until the end.
It's too bad their fans get to enjoy it.
Oh boy are Blues fans full of themselves right now. I guess I understand, what with their team being relevant for the first time in a decade. We've all heard the stereotype of the bitter Blues fan, but this year they have gone out of their way to prove that it's true. I guess that's to be expected when they've seen their team win a grand total of 4 games beyond the 2nd round in that cute little 25 year playoff streak they like to think means something.
You can see it all the time. It's in their headlines; it's buried in their posts. However, even though they'll troll the shit out of us, don't you dare respond to it, because they'll get their tight little panties all in a bunch and say things like "how dare a Wing fan comment on a post designed specifically to rile up Wing fans?" They even believe that mentioning the Wings is a beacon to Wing fans to come in and comment, as if we don't have better things to do than scour St Louis Game Time and look for negative things about the Wings (because seriously, we've got jobs and shit).
The funniest thing to me about Blues fans is how far into their heads the Wings (and by extension, their fans) really are. How else to explain why they go out of their way to bring up their standing in relation to the Wings. It's not about how well the Blues are doing; it's solely about whether they are doing better than the Wings (newsflash: they're not). Blues fans are like that one friend that we all had. You know him: he's the guy who, no matter what he's got, has to tout that what he has is better than what you have. This is true even if you're driving around in a Ferrari and he naively believes that his souped-up Cavalier somehow qualifies as a "sports car".
These guys may as well just wear a sign that says "Hi, my name is _______ and I have an Inferiority Complex". It's the same thing with Blackhawk fans who chant "Detroit Sucks" when Chicago is playing Columbus. It's hilariously pathetic.
I can already hear the response from the other side; "typical whiny Wing fan" they'll say. I'm sure there will be a few comments from our sister site about what an asshole I am, but I don't hate myself nearly enough to head over there and comment. Now, I could tell all Wing fans not to go over and engage those mouth-breathers at SLGT, but I won't, because I can't tell any of you what to do. I also won't stop any Blues fan from coming over here and telling me exactly what you think of me. Hell, even if you were banned in the past, know that you are now welcome to comment here at WIIM without being labeled a troll unless you act as such. But know this, Blues fans: no matter what you say, it won't bother me, because I just don't care.
Oh, and Blues fans? It's still not a rivalry.
St. Louis Game Time is your SBNation Blues' blog.
Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET on Fox Sports Detroit Plus and NBC Sports Network.
The Expected Lineup
Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler
Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller
Jan Mursak -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White
Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart
Mike Commodore -- Jonathan Ericsson
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Cory Emmerton and Jakub Kindl
Injuries: Patrick Eaves (jaw)
||HOW THEY MATCH UP
|29-12-6 (64 pts; 4th in West)
||32-15-1 (65 pts; 1st in NHL)
||Goals Per Game
||Goals Against Per Game
||Power Play %
||Penalty Kill %
David Backes (16 goals)
||Johan Franzen (18 goals)
|David Backes (37 points)
||Pavel Datsyuk (51 points)
- The Red Wings are 114-108-37-7 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Blues.
- Last 10 games: Detroit 8-2-0; St. Louis 8-1-1
- The home team has won every game between these two teams so far this season.
- The Wings have won six-in-a-row and five of those six wins have come in OT or a Shootout.
- A win tonight will give Detroit seven straight wins and would tie their season high
Prediction: Red Wings win 3-2. Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.