Sorry for the title, but I have been trying to figure out a way to use “Blues” and “ball” in the same sentence. Yes, it is a reach. But the fact of the matter is the Blues are definitely seeing first-hand how fun winning can be. Thanks to shutting out the Sharks 2-0 Thursday night, the Blues are off to their second best start in team history (the team’s best start was back in the 2002-2003 season when they went 8-1-1 in their first 10 games). For you youngster’s out there, that covers a span of 43 years. Yes, it has been 43 years and counting for a franchise that has yet to win a Stanley Cup. But there is now buzz in the Gateway city thanks to a 7-1-2 beginning. It has been many years since fans were so excited and passionate about their boys in blue.
The team has now won 12 straight games at home dating back to last season. It is crucial to make your opponents feel uneasy coming into your backyard. That is precisely what the Blues are doing. Teams are beginning to take notice that the Scottrade Center is an unfriendly place to play. Ah, it brings back sweet memories of the Emile Francis commercial saying “we’re bringing the check back into the Checkerdome”. For you youngster’s out there, google Emile Francis.
Now let’s get to some BLUEnotes:
*Jaroslav Halak: What can you say, it is now an automatic to start the BLUEnote section with Halak. He mades 25 saves against the Sharks and recorded his 3rd shutout of the season. Again, thank you Pierre Gauthier and the Montreal Canadiens!!!
*Matt D’Agostini: The Italian Stallion notched his 5th goal of the season in Thursday night’s win over San Jose. He now has 5 goals on 13 shots. D’Agostini scored 2 goals last season. Again, thank you Montreal. We love you!!!
*David Perron: After getting blindsided by Joe Thornton, Perron came back and scored a clutch 2nd period goal to give the Blues a 2-0 lead. This hit took Thornton out of the game and has resulted in a worthy two-game suspension. Perron showed grit in shaking off what was sure to be a nasty headache and making a statement by scoring an important goal. Perron is also french Canadian, so again, thank you Montreal!!!
*David Backes: Yes, I will bring up some negativity. I am not impressed with the play of Backes at all so far. He has been horrible on faceoffs and has not showed the ability to finish scoring chances. He is playing on the first line, but is clearly not a first line forward. Backes did not register a shot on goal against the Sharks and was once again weak in the faceoff circle. He is in negotiations for a new contract and I feel he is an important player to the growth of this Blues team. But at some point the organization needs to decide if he can eventually become a true first/second line player, or is he really just a third line checking forward.
*Barret Jackman: The only bad news for the Blues in their win over the Sharks was the injury to BJ (I’ve been trying to work those initials into a story as well). Jackman hurt his right knee and has been placed on the injured reserve list. The Blues are expecting him to be out for at least three weeks. Injuries are starting to mount on the blueline. With Roman Polak and Carlo Colaiacovo already out of the lineup, this leaves three key defensemen watching games. But this does give opportunity for others to shine. Tyson Strachan and Nathan Oystrick have done a solid job as the third unit on the blueline. Now the Blues have recalled Ian Cole. The team’s first round pick in 2007 almost made the team out of training camp. Cole will now get his chance to prove he belongs in the NHL. The organization finally has some depth to offset injuries. Let’s just hope the recent crush is over and the team maintains health as the season continues.
Thanks for reading. Kiss your Bluenote before you go to bed.
About the Author
Written by Dave Frederick
Dave has spent more than 20 years covering the NHL for a variety of different media outlets. Most notably ESPN, Fox Sports and the National Hockey League.