The St. Louis Blues don’t have time to dwell on the thumping they took from the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. They’ll take part in a tough back-to-back set against the Pennsylvania teams this weekend. On Saturday the Blues will face off with the recently red-hot Philadelphia Flyers before heading to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins.
With only 18 points left on the table this season and the Presidents’ Trophy in view, St. Louis needs to come up with a strong effort against these two Eastern Conference foes.
Before games taking place on Friday night, the Blues hold a six-point lead in the Central Division and a two-point lead in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Boston Bruins have rattled off 10 consecutive wins and are suddenly in the thick of things for home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, but they’ll have their hands full against the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
For St. Louis, this is the first of two meetings against Philadelphia before the end of the season. The Flyers are on a four-game winning streak and Claude Giroux has been on fire since the middle of December.
Since Dec. 11, Giroux has 49 points, tops in NHL.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 16, 2014
The shutdown forwards will need to compete hard against a potent Philadelphia offense, but things won’t get any easier on Sunday. The Penguins aren’t necessarily a familiar opponent, but their offensive prowess is well established. Something about a guy named Sidney?
Pittsburgh had a game ripped from under them against the Detroit Red Wings last night, and will probably be fired up to get back into the win column. In case you didn’t see the dramatic buzzer beater…
The bad news is that it’s the Red Wings. The good news? On a day full of drama from March Madness, it was good to see the NHL hang in there with their own buzzer-beater headline.
Securing points this weekend would go a long way toward helping the Blues win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Central. They’ll travel to Toronto for a contest on Tuesday before playing five straight at home. Taking these last points on the road will be vital.