Blues forward Brayden Schenn (10) handles the puck away from Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (55). (Photo courtesy: Sergei Belsky, USA TODAY Sports)
11/9: Blues/Flames, 9pm CT, Scotiabank Saddledome – FSMW, ESPN 101.1
The St. Louis Blues (11-3-3) are on a roll through Canada as they take on the Calgary Flames (10-7-2) tonight, looking for their 7th straight win. The Blues got a big regulation win in Edmonton against Connor McDavid and co., scoring two empty netters in a 5-2 win. It was another statement win by the Blues as they retained the best record in the Western conference. Jake Allen grabbed career win 139, making some key saves against two of the greatest players in the NHL.
“The six-game win streak, yeah, it’s great,” Allen told the STL Post-Dispatch after the win. “We’ll take the points, but like I said, we’re finding ways to win games. I think last season at the start of the year, we were finding ways to lose games. Right now, we’re just trying to find ways to win.”
Minutes after the game finished, headlines broke out for St. Louis with the announcement of Robby Fabbri being traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Jacob de la Rose. Fabbri had played only 9 games with St. Louis this season, after two successive ACL injuries made him miss nearly two whole years of hockey. De la Rose is expected to make his debut by replacing the injured Alex Steen, who is up for re-evaluation in four weeks.
The Flames, after a slow 5-4-1 start to their first 10 games, are returning to their winning ways, taking four of their last five contests and pulling into second in the Pacific Division. The Flames scored four goals in the second period as 5 different players scored in a 5-2 win over New Jersey, after head coach Bill Peters publicly berated his team’s play. Now, the Flames look forward (as most teams have) to the challenge of facing the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
“They’re a good team, so it’s going to be a good test for us,” Flames forward Mark Jankowski told the Calgary Herald. “I think if we play our game and we focus on ourselves, then we know we can play anybody.”
“That’s going to be a lot of fun,” Peters said. “That’s a lot of juice – Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada, against the defending Stanley Cup Champions… So, let’s go out and play.” The Blues and Flames face off in the Saddledome for the first time this season at 9pm CT. St. Louis took two of the three meetings last year, winning 5-3 and 3-1.
Fabbri’s Red-Hot Start; de la Rose’s Debut
Robby Fabbri, after scoring just one goal in 9 games with St. Louis this season, scored a pair of power play goals in his debut with the Red Wings. Fabbri skated for a total of 19 shifts and 13:15 of total ice time against the dominant Boston Bruins. “It definitely helps with the confidence there,” Fabbri told NHL.com. “Overall, just to see the way the boys played, that really helps coming in. So it was a great win for the boys.”
Jacob de la Rose, who will make his debut on the third line with St. Louis, is equally excited to get off to a fresh start with a new team. “I’m just excited to be here and I’m gonna do my best to bring my game and see what I can bring to this team,” de la Rose told the Post-Dispatch.
Coach Craig Berube was satisfied with de la Rose’s first practice in a Blues sweater, and is looking forward to slotting him in the third line with Tyler Bozak and Sammy Blais. “He’s gotta get games and get up to speed on how we play and do things. It’s not gonna happen overnight, but hopefully he can get in there and give us a jolt right away,” Berube told the Post-Dispatch. De la Rose is expected to slot in for Alex Steen, who has been placed on injured reserve and will be re-evaluated in four weeks.
Bill Peters Rips Into Team
Despite a 4-3 overtime win against Arizona last Tuesday, coach Bill Peters made it evident that he was not satisfied with the team’s play in the game. Apart from a great stretch of five minutes, the Flames certainly did not deserve to win the game, which has been a problem for Calgary early. The consistency issue for the Flames has been a big one early, and has reflected in their early standings. After the game, Peters gave a rather emotional press conference.
“I like our team a lot,” Peters said following Wednesday’s practice when asked to further explain his strong post-game analysis. “I don’t love the way we’re playing. That’s obvious, right? The aspects… I don’t like our starts, our emotional engagement, our physical engagement, and our execution with the puck.” He continued on by specifically calling out some of the play of their team defense and that the veterans needed to step up. “It’s the National Hockey League,” he said. “You’ve gotta be able to make a pass.”
Peters’ message was heard loud and clear, after a dominant 5-2 win over New Jersey. The Flames sit 2nd in the Pacific as the division only gets tighter, with just three points separating themselves from the 6th-place Ducks.
Ryan O’Reilly will skate in his 100th game as a Blue and his 751st career game.
David Perron had 5 points in 3 games against Calgary last season.
Alex Pietrangelo is one goal shy of his 100th career goal.
Tyler Bozak is on a four-game point streak after his empty netter in Edmonton.
The Blues and Flames hit the ice at 10pm ET in the Saddledome for a big Hockey Night in Canada matchup. The game will be broadcasted on:
STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, Fox Sports GO, NHL.com
CGY: SN, SN 960, NHL.com
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