Hello Blues fans! The time for rest is over and the Blues are back in action tonight in the Mile-high City. Whether the layoff will help or hurt is now the question.
The St. Louis Blues get back to it tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. The Blues must decide if the layoff was a help or whether they will return to their bad habit of thinking these games will be easy.
The Blues and Avalanche are almost polar opposites right now. The Avalanche have the worst record in the NHL right now, while the Blues are currently a playoff team.
St. Louis has won two in a row and is 7-3 in their last ten. Colorado is 3-7 in their last ten and lost two in a row. Additionally, the Avs recently saw their lead evaporate against Chicago en route to a 6-3 loss. You know that won’t be sitting well with Jared Bednar or his team.
The Blues must be careful in this scenario. You want to enter the game knowing you are the better team, but not acting like you are the better team.
By that I mean don’t get cocky and think you will win just by showing up. Colorado might be a bad team in the standings, but they still have talent enough to make you pay like any other NHL team.
St. Louis just needs to keep the focus going. They have been clicking in all facets recently from goaltending to defense to scoring.
Keep the focus simple, play the Blues style and the win should come. St. Louis already has a couple anyway.
The Blues are 2-0 against Colorado this season and have won by an average of 3.5 goals a game. St. Louis shut out the Avs the last time they were in Colorado too, so they have proven to themselves it can be done.
Beyond just the opponent, the Blues have to keep winning to keep their playoff opponent options open. Nashville won while the Blues were off, so the Predators are now two points ahead.
St. Louis still has the tie-breaker there, but the Blues need to keep winning to put pressure on everyone. The tie-breaker with Nashville just puts them into the third divisional spot. Catching Calgary or Edmonton gives St. Louis the more palatable option of playing a Pacific Division team in the playoffs if seeding falls right.
I fully expect to see a well oiled Blues machine tonight. They got a few days of rest and relaxation in Arizona.
While the team may not have done any truly team-wide activities, they still got out in separate groups. Those moments where you can bond as a team during the year are sometimes the best rest and recharge you can get.
Whether it works for the team this late in the season remains to be seen. All we know is tonight marks a return to hockey and the Blues better get after it.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Links to get your day moving along.
As fans, we are more than preoccupied with playoff seeding and who the Blues might face. The players have to know what is going on, but still they say where they finish is not important as long as they get in. (STLToday)
About a week ago, I wrote an article discussing how the St. Louis Blues were actually better off after the Kevin Shattenkirk trade. You can read that here. The stats continue to back that up though as even the powerplay unit, once lost without Shattenkirk, has improved since his departure as well. (Post-Dispatch)
While the Blues are trying to clinch a playoff spot, so are their AHL partners the Chicago Wolves. The Wolves have some important games coming up against Cleveland, but if they get some guys back on track and get a little help from other teams in the league, they might clinch very soon. (Wolves)
Speaking of Wolves, several of their players might need to suit up in a Blues uniform sooner than later. St. Louis is unlikely to have much in the way of funds for free agency, so the team may need to look inward for another summer. (Bleedin’ Blue)
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For whatever reason (likely money) the NHL owners seem hesitant to allow their players to participate in the Olympics. The players keep hoping a settlement will be reached as they enjoy playing. (ESPN)
The son of former Blues power forward Keith Tkachuk, Matthew Tkachuk got suspended for two games by the league. While you should never condone play beyond the rules, I can’t say I’m disappointed with how he got suspended since it happened on a certain thorn in the Blues side from years ago. (NHL)
Have a great day Blues fans!