St. Louis Blues Morning Links: Down With The Kings

Jan 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Nail Yakupov (64) handles the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Blues 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Nail Yakupov (64) handles the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during a NHL hockey game at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Blues 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Off with their heads! Good morning Blues fans! The Blues take on the Kings out west tonight in a pivotal clash that could help decide who gets in and who misses the 2017 playoffs.

The St. Louis Blues are riding high on a wave of momentum. Given how the 2016-17 season has gone though, we are all hoping that wave does not crash tonight or crest before the playoffs.

The Blues are currently in a period where they have things figured out again. They are getting scoring, netting four in their last two games and averaging 3.25 goals per game in their four-game win streak.

The Blues are defending reasonably well and getting good goaltending. If not for a fluky bounce, Jake Allen would have had back-to-back shutouts against Colorado and Minnesota. Things got a little hairier against Anaheim and the Islanders, but as long as you are winning those close games it all comes out in the wash.

The only thing going wrong right now for the Blues is health. Paul Stastny missed the last game due to illness, Colton Parayko is out due a lower body injury.

The Blues have also been utilizing some rather unappealing line combinations. They continue to win though and that is all that matters.

We can all dissect every play and puck possession. We can discuss or argue the value of every save or scream about every goal allowed. At this point of the year, if you end up with two points at the end of the night, all of that matters very little.

St. Louis has a fantastic opportunity to slam the door on the Los Angeles Kings tonight. L.A. would not be mathematically eliminated, far from it in fact. However, it would put them five points behind the Blues and St. Louis would have won the season series.

Additionally, these kinds of games are why seven and eight seeds can be so tricky once in the playoffs. The Blues are building that fight for every game mentality that makes the lower seeds difficult to play against.

It’s not going to be an easy task though. The Blues won their home game way back near the beginning of the season 1-0, but lost in L.A. in January 5-1.

The loss was not as bad as the final scoreline would suggest, especially since the Blues turned around and began a winning streak with the remainder of their west coast trip a couple months back. Still, a loss in the City of Angels does not breed confidence no matter how you played.

St. Louis needs to keep doing what they’ve done the last four. Getting a goal from Vladimir Tarasenko would help, but just early scoring in general is needed.

St. Louis also needs to be on their toes defensively. L.A. has won two in a row, including a 4-2 win over Washington two days ago.

It’s going to be a clash tonight. The Blues really need this one, so let’s hope they bring their A-game.

Let’s also hope it doesn’t go to overtime. Plenty of us have to work in the morning.

Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.

There is always discussion about whether a different scoring system for wins would make the league better. Funny enough, the Blues would still be in the wild card in almost any scoring system, but would the game be better? That’s something there is little agreement on. (STLToday)

On the other side of the fence, the Kings are in desperate straights just like the Blues. In typical Sutter fashion, Kings coach Darryl Sutter minced no words when describing how his team has viewed itself this season. (LA Times)

In baseball, slumps are hard. There are not as many ways to continue helping your team if you aren’t hitting. Hockey is different. You always want your scorers to score, but as Jaden Schwartz is proving, you can help the team in other ways even if you aren’t hitting the back of the net. (Post-Dispatch)

As a cherry on top of the Blues winning streak in recent days, the Chicago Wolves have regained their winning style as well. Additionally, Tage Thompson looked like he belonged as opposed to a college kid playing his first professional game in the Wolves’ most recent game. (St. Louis Gametime)

Next: Is Vladimir Tarasenko Doing Enough Or Are We Greedy?

In the NFL, there is a constant debate over whether having the bye week helps or hurts teams. The argument is rest vs. rust if you break it down. A similar argument is being made now about whether Henrik Lundqvist’s injury could actually be beneficial to the New York Rangers. (ESPN)

The NHL might be the best hockey league in the world with the best athletes, but that doesn’t mean that players don’t care elsewhere. Case in point, the Swedish league just set a world record for the longest hockey game ever. (NHL)

Have a great day Blues fans!