Homecoming for Several Blues in Toronto
TORONTO - Tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs will be a homecoming of sorts for several Blues.
Alex Pietrangelo grew up just over an hour north of Toronto in King City. Carlo Colaiacovo and Chris Porter are both Toronto natives, and Alexander Steen, although a Winnipeg native, spent three years with the Maple Leafs.
“It’s always special to come home and see the family,” Pietrangelo said after Tuesday’s morning skate, which was his third in Toronto. “Last night was a great opportunity to kinda catch up with everyone. You don’t get that chance too often, so I made sure I took advantage of it. I saw the parents, saw the grandparents and slept in my own bed. (I have) lots of energy today.”
Pietrangelo said his parents, grandparents and a few buddies will be at the game tonight, which begins at 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Midwest and KMOX 1120 AM.
The Blues will be facing a Maple Leafs team that has lost five consecutive games and is barely hanging on to the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“They’re going to come. We’re aware of it,” Steen said. “This is an emotional building for them as well and they want to come out and play well in front of their fans. Saying that, we’ve got to make sure that we play the way that we play.”
Goalie James Remier, who has been playing for the injured Jonathan Bernier, has given up 19 goals in the losing streak. Bernier has been recovering from a groin injury and skated today. He could make a return to the lineup tonight.
RIGHT AT HOME
Ryan Miller, who is back between the pipes for the Blues tonight, is no stranger to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Since the 2005-06 season, Miller has made 49 starts against Toronto, more than any other goaltender in that time frame. Miller is 31-15-3 in his career against the Leafs, and his goals-against average (2.46) and save-percentage (.922) rank fifth among goalies with at least 10 starts vs. Toronto over the last nine seasons.
Since joining the Blues, Miller is 7-2-1, stopping 218 of 238 shots.
Carlo Colaiacovo, a Toronto native that began his career with the Leafs, will be in the lineup tonight in front of a big group of friends and family. He will be making just his 17th appearance of the season, but said he’s always working on keeping himself mentally and physically prepared.
“I’m pretty confident in my abilities and I’ve played in the League a long time, played in some big games and played on this team before,” Colaiacovo said. “I just use those positives and those characteristics to help me to do what I need to do. My ultimate goal is to do whatever I can to contribute and help the team win.”
- The Blues are 3-0-2 in their last five games against the Maple Leafs. In addition, the Blues have points in eight consecutive games at Air Canada Centre (6-0-1-1). The last regulation loss against Toronto on the road occurred on Feb. 4, 1998, when Al MacInnis scored and was named the No. 2 star that night.
- This is the second meeting between the teams this season. The Blues won 6-3 on Dec. 12.
- Steen has three goals and one assist in four games against his former team.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is one assist short of 100 as a Blue.
- The Blues are a League-best 20-5-2 in intra-conference play, including a 9-5-1 mark on the road.