The St. Louis Blues already got one win over the Calgary Flames out of the way on Saturday night at the Saddledome. Can they clinch the season series with a victory on Tuesday at Scottrade Center?
After wrapping up a three-game road trip in Western Canada by defeating the Calgary Flames 6-4 on Saturday, the St. Louis Blues return to Scottrade Center on Tuesday but face the same opponent, welcoming the Flames into their arena. Though the Flames earned an impressive 3-2 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at United Center, with Brian Elliott allowing just two goals–tied for the fewest that a Flames netminder has allowed in a game this season–they’re still a team that is largely in shambles to begin 2016-17.
The Flames still don’t have a regulation win yet this season, and they’ll bring a 2-4-1 record into Tuesday night’s game. The three young forwards that are supposed to carry the Flames for years to come–Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Sam Bennett–have just three points each through the first seven games, while Elliott, the goaltender who was supposed to finally solve their issues in net, has started just four games while posting a 3.95 GAA and an .867 save percentage.
Even though Elliott started in Monday night’s win, he’s expected to play again on Tuesday, appearing in front of the Blues fans who cheered him on for years before he was traded to Calgary this offseason. Rookie winger Matthew Tkachuk, the son of legendary Blues winger Keith Tkachuk, broke camp with the NHL club but has been a healthy scratch for the past two games. He may or may not suit up in front of his hometown crowd on Tuesday. As Tkachuk continues to sit out, it’s looking more likely by the day that he’ll be reassigned to his junior club, the London Knights, once his nine-game tryout in the NHL is complete.
The Blues face the Flames once more this season, hosting them on Saturday, March 25 at Scottrade Center. If Calgary continues to perform like they have during the early part of the season, it’s safe to say that it could be a much different-looking Flames team by the time that game takes place. Either way, though, a Blues victory on Tuesday would allow the Blues to clinch their season series with the Flames, giving them a victory in the series for the sixth straight season.
We caught up with a Flames expert on Monday to learn more about why the Flames have struggled so much in the early going: