Since we are in the political season I have been looking to use the word referendum in one of these blogs and I think I have found the correct place for it. The Blues are playing a referendum game this Wednesday night. I think there are a lot of people out there right now who are really waiting to jump on the Blues bandwagon but just don't quite believe that the kids are that good yet. We are about to find out how good they are when they play the defending Stanley Cup Champions and perennial pain in the neck Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
If the Blues win the excitement level of this city will move to another level and it is probable that the Blues will be a hot ticket again. There is not a whole lot better in St. Louis sports than a home Saturday night hockey game when the Blues are good. That used to be a staple on the St. Louis sports scene and I am really hopeful that the tradition is coming back.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how well the Blues have been playing this season. It truly appears that after all of the promises of draft picks being developed into big-time NHL players we are finally becoming witnesses to it. The kids are fun to watch. I can only imagine how much better they could be if Erik Johnson had not injured his leg on the golf course.
The key to this team this season is Manny Legace. Can Manny be as good as he was last year and stay healthy for the entire season. The franchise knows that they cannot ask Legace to play 70+ games this season if they want to be a playoff contender. With Chris Mason out for awhile they have called up another young player in Ben Bishop.
To a native St. Louisian it is awesome to finally see players who grew up in this area able to make it all the way to the NHL. I am 32 years old and frankly the opportunities were not there for anyone of my age bracket to play youth hockey at any kind of a high level. That opportunity is now here. The Blues alumni has built this area into one of the hockey hotbeds in the United States. It won't ever be up there with Minnesota or the Northeast but it is possible for a young boy born in St. Louis to make it to the NHL and play for the Blues. That is awesome to see.
Most likely Ben Bishop will get a start on Friday or Saturday night against either the Kings or the Panthers. That will be a tremendous night in St. Louis hockey history.
But first are the Red Wings on Wednesday. This will not make or break the season but this game is the measuring stick. How good are the Blues? The referendum will be held at Scottrade Center on Wednesday night. Results will be seen at 10 pm on KMOV Wednesday night.