There haven't been many roster changes since the Blues beat the Kings on the 13th. The Blues will welcome one big addition, however: T.J. Oshie is finally back after missing more than thirty games with an ankle injury. Kyle Wellwood also skated in practice this morning and looked ready to start, but was just claimed by San Jose off waivers. On the Kings' side, Wayne Simmonds is still out with a leg injury, but a recent MRI showed nothing serious. Huzzah.
Let's move on to some sobering facts about the last game:
1. St. Louis had the edge in hits (35-32).
2. Jonathan Quick, back in net tonight, made 18 saves on 21 shots (.857 SV%).
3. The Kings outshot the Blues--25 total, 11 of those coming in the third period--but managed to score only once.
4. From the time Handzus scored at 5:27 of the second, Jaroslav Halak only had to make one save for the rest of the period. (A couple of shots went wide, but that's still horrific.) The Blues, on the other hand, took over the game and scored twice before the period was done.
5. St. Louis went up 2-0 in the season series.
6. My tummy really hurt. (Yours too?)
One goal losses are just as annoying, though. After the first period, the Stars clearly adjusted their game-plan and got their offense going last night; the Kings didn't. Terry Murray is now preaching--I bet you can guess the answer to this--shot mentality once again. Goal support would be nice. So would the ability to adapt themselves.
The Kings need to solve the Blues this time out, especially because they're only one point ahead in the standings. I hope the third time's a charm. Do they have the will to win the board battles tonight? Can they answer Rudy's pleas to drive to the net? I'm taking my Tums and going off to do some prayer and meditation. Stay tuned.