Bouwmeester to face Flames for first time since trade

Flames-Blues isn’t the marquee game on tonight’s slate.

But it does have a few good storylines.

It will be Jay Bouwmeester’s first time facing his former club since the Apr. 1 trade that saw him go from Calgary to St. Louis.

It will also be Bouwmeester’s first game since clinching a playoff spot for the first time in his 10-year career.

The 29-year-old rearguard has played 762 games without once making the postseason, and he isn’t

“Everyone’s in different situations,” Bouwmeester told the Belleville News Democrat. “I started out with a (Florida) team that was struggling a bit and in Calgary we didn’t have the success that we wanted. I’ve been asked that question a lot, but my approach every year has been kind of a fresh start and that’s what’s it’s been.

“I guess I’ve just been answering that question too long, I don’t really care any more. You never think it’s not going to happen.”

The final storyline?

St. Louis can make a major move in the Western Conference standings.

They head into tonight’s game sitting sixth, with 56 points, just one back of Los Angeles and San Jose — who have played 47 games to St. Louis’ 46.

A victory against the Flames would shoot the Blues into sole possession of fourth in the Western Conference, and put them in the driver’s seat for Saturday’s season finale with Chicago.

In short, the Blues control their own destiny. If they beat the Flames and the ‘Hawks, they’ll finish fourth and have home-ice advantage in the opening playoff round.

It’s something head coach Ken Hitchcock wants his team to capitalize on.

“Highest seed is important,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Nothing against what Los Angeles did [winning Stanley Cup as No. 8 seed]. I think those don’t happen very often. Every team legitimately feels that they can beat the other team that they’re playing.

“But you could end up with home ice carrying a five or six seed, you never know.”

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.