The Blues head west for a three-game California vacation, with games against San Jose, Anaheim, and Los Angeles on the docket.
Maybe, just maybe, if all of these injuries happen at the start of the season, then the Blues won't have to deal with them later on. If you believe that, I have an arch to sell you. For whatever reason, the Blues seem to be stalked by the Injury Bug (who is now a proper noun to these guys) - B.J Crombeen, Carlo Colaiacovo, and now Andy McDonald are all out for tonight's game. McDonald may be suffering another concussion. He has been concussed several times in his career, increasing the risk that any heavy bump could cause another one.
It'll be an effort for the Blues to bounce back from a tough 3-2 loss in Dallas, mainly because of their special teams. Their abysmal power play is one-for-13, and the loss of McDonald isn't going to help that. Their penalty kill's been slightly better, though when facing a team like the Sharks, discipline's important, because they'll exploit mistakes.
The Sharks are coming off of a 1-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks last night, where they were stymied by Jonas Hiller who is back from a battle with vertigo last season. It'll be a lot easier to solve Jaroslav Halak, whose three goals against all came from not dropping and closing his legs fast enough. He's also been weak high glove side so far, and has allowed eight goals in just three games. Perhaps starting Elliott just to give him a chance to start. Considering the fact that tonight's game is the first of back to back games (Anaheim awaits tomorrow at 7:00), Elliott should see action one of those two. Halak hasn't had success against the Sharks, going 0-2-0 last season with a 5.23 GAA in his last three games against the team.
Dallas and San Jose mark the first two road games of a four game stint, before the team faces off against the Carolina Hurricanes on October 21st at home. Then, the Blues pick up and go on a five game road trip to conclude one of the toughest stretches of any team in the NHL's season. They have to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and play hard, or else these games will come back to haunt them in April.