The St. Louis Blues might be first overall in the NHL, but it’s safe to say they don’t lead the league in high-flying entertainment.
The Blues boast a 1.86 goals-against average and could become the first team since the 1955-56 Montreal Canadiens to finish with a GAA below 2.00. They’re also one of the few teams whose games average fewer than five goals.
Wins are wins, however, and St. Louis has 39 of them since coach Davis Payne was fired on Nov. 6 and defensive-minded Ken Hitchcock took over behind the bench.
Globe writer Eric Duhatschek calls that “a good analogy, but also a grim way of looking at how they play the game.”
It also begs the questions, is the Blues’ success good for the NHL? Because it’s pretty tough to market a brand of hockey that’s “like seaweed.” (All-you-can-eat sushi nights?)
The Blues’ success is good for the Blues though. Yesterday the team announced it was raising ticket prices 9.8 percent, a move that (by our math) could raise regular-season revenue by over $3 million if current attendance remains consistent. And then there’s all the additional playoff revenue that comes with a winning team.
The risk is more and more franchises, particularly those with limited budgets that can’t afford superstar scorers, copy the Blues’ style and we end up in another dead-puck era.
WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks