Two games into a season isn't enough time to go into panic mode, but it is enough time to raise eyebrows if something's wrong. Aside from Jaroslav Halak looking shaky in net, something that has sportswriters and fans raising an eyebrow is the inauspicious start that special teams have had. The Blues have been on the penalty kill seven times this season thus far, and have allowed three goals. If that continues, that will mean that opponents will score about 43% of the time. That's a lot of goals.
The powerplay has scored just once, courtesy of Jason Arnott Monday afternoon. During the first game of the season it looked disoriented, as though those guys had never practiced together before. It improved slightly as the game went on, and did apply pressure in Monday's 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Generally speaking, though, it could be significantly better.
Unfortunately for the Blues, tonight's a trifecta of obstacles. Firstly, tonight is the first game in a four game road trip for the team that will take them to San Jose, Anahiem, and Los Angeles next. Secondly, Dallas swept the Blues 0-3-1 last season for the first time in franchise history. Thirdly, Kari Lehtonen's had good success against St. Louis and he is on fire to start the season. Lehtonen's 6-1-0 against the Blues in his career with a 1.69 GAA, which is certainly better than Halak's winless record and 3.05 GAA against the Stars.
Lehtonen's one of the top goaltenders out of the gate this season, with a microscopic .97 GAA and a .975 SV%. These are career numbers for him if he keeps it up. The rest of the Dallas team, however, hasn't held up their end of the bargain offensively, scoring just six goals in the last three games. If Lehtonen has a bad outing, the team should be able to convert something to bail him out, and Dallas just doesn't seem to have found that gun yet. With the Blues more than doubling their opponents shots 68-33 over their first two games, Lehtonen better be on that game, because he'll be facing more shots probably tonight than Halak.
The puck drops at 7:30, right after the Cardinals game starts. Might I suggest picture in picture for the evening?