The Bruins have a big test tonight. Ottawa? Carolina? The Rangers? All child's play when compared to the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis is legit and I feel like they're a team not many fans of East Coast teams know about. Maybe it's because they reside in St. Louis where nothing really happens outside of gang wars and Cardinals fans scream on their soap boxes about how they're the nicest fans in the world. I mean, the only reason people fly into St. Louis is to catch their connecting flight out of St. Louis.
I also feel like I made that joke before on here, but I can't remember where.
But if you look at the Blues, they are fourth in the West with 31 points in 20 games. If you want comparables, Boston is first in the Eastern Conference with 29 points in 21 games. What we have tonight is one of the best offenses in the NHL (St Louis scores 3.40 goals per game which is good for second in the NHL) going up against one of the best defenses/goaltenders in the NHL (Boston allows 1.76 goals per game, which is the best in the NHL).
Alex Steen is absolutely blowing up in St. Louis. He leads the NHL in goals with 17, but then last time the Bruins faced an NHL goal scoring leader, we all remember what happened. But seriously, Steen is play lights out and in a contract year I wouldn't expect that to end any time soon. He has something to play for and he told St. Louis that he wants to talk contract after the season. The guy is projected to net anywhere between 91-100 points.
The real question here is 'Will Boston show up?". It seems that the Bruins have had a problem lately getting into games. Maybe it's the back-to-backs? Maybe it's the level of opposition. One can make a case that Ottawa (11th in the East), Carolina (10th) and New York (9th) aren't exactly games you get amped up for.
We know that the Bruins do a good job of playing down to their opponent, but they also play up to those they need to play up against. That game against Pittsburgh in October was as close to playoff hockey in October that you can get. It was a battle and it was exciting. Do I think the Bruins show up tonight? Yeah. The day off should give them some much needed rest and while they will have a very young defensive group, they know they have a goalie who can bail them out.
Not saying that's okay, but here we are.