Got them same ol’ Blues again.
If Calgary wants to regain its standing as Legitimate Playoff Contender in the Western Conference, these two games right here would be a hell of a way to do it.
St. Louis, as best I can figure, is pretty much done this year. Seven points out of a playoff spot right now and no help coming at all. This is now the team they were more or less expected to roll out this year, minus David Perron and Jaroslav Halak, the latter of whom has not exactly been the Jaro Halak of last year since moving the West. Not that this should have surprised anyone.
Further, the Blues are likely to have been demoralized somewhat by their GM’s pronouncement earlier this week that no help would be on the way, and that no sell-off of promising players was in the offing. I get the psychology behind that — you’re telling your players that you’re going to war with them, that you don’t feel reinforcements are necessary — but I think it’s wrong, especially in this case since they just got rid of their captain.
The Blues are mid-rebuild (aided considerably by the Chris Stewart/Kevin Shattenkirk pickup) and while it may sound nice to put the onus of winning your way into the playoffs into the guys, this is still a team that’s woefully ill-equipped to do so. No real goaltending, an odd defensive corps and a promising if underachieving forward group.
Go to war with these guys? That’s a hell of a nice way to say the rest of the season is going to look like Hamburger Hill. You’re fighting for something if only to abandon it immediately.
With all that said, these two games are critical for the Flames. They showed they still have some fight in them against the Sharks, and winning a pair against a poor team would really lend their playoff bid some credibility.
We know for sure that Jay Feaster has some big decisions to make tomorrow, but they might be informed considerably by the results here tonight.