Good morning Blues fans! Or afternoon if the case may be. The Blues finally return home to their beds and familiar surroundings. Now we just need to see a better start than we got in Colorado.
The St. Louis Blues are finally home. The team was gone for only five games, but that spanned a total of 12 days.
Fortunately, the Blues went 4-1 on that road trip. Only a 2-1 slip-up in Anaheim prevented them from going undefeated on the road trip. The only reason that loss really shows up as a blip is the Blues could be in sole possession of third in the division instead of using the tie-breaker, had they won that game or even forced it into overtime.
Such is life though. The Blues now return home looking to keep their hot streak going and hoping it is not a return of last season’s woes where the team was great on the road and mediocre at the Scottrade Center.
The Blues opened the season like a house on fire at home. While that cooled off considerably during the winter months, the Blues are still a good ways above .500 with a 20-11-7 record on their home ice. Compare that to 19-17-1 on the road, which includes that recent road streak, and it shows you how much the Blues have had to win to get back to respectability.
The Blues now turn their attention to the Vancouver Canucks. St. Louis has already played Vancouver twice and both have been extremely tight.
St. Louis lost to the Canucks in Vancouver earlier in the season, but that game went to overtime with a 2-1 loss. St. Louis got a measure of revenge with a 4-3 win on home ice. That game will be remembered for the refs trying to kill Jake Allen by letting him play without his mask.
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This is another game that features teams at the opposite end of the spectrum. Neither are at the top or bottom, but they are headed in different directions.
The Blues are 8-2 in their last ten, while the Canucks are 3-5-2. St. Louis is firmly seated in a playoff spot even if not clinched and Vancouver is all but mathematically eliminated.
So, it is another test of mental will for the Blues. Vancouver, like Colorado, will not just roll over because their record says they will.
There are still guys fighting for spots for next year’s roster. The Sedin sisters…I mean twins, are always dangerous as well and have a knack for putting points up against the Blues.
If St. Louis is on their toes and gets out of the gate early, then expect success. Have another first period like you did against Colorado and Vancouver is more likely to make the Blues pay than the Avalanche did.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
I honestly don’t think coaches ever intentionally lie about injuries. However hockey might be the worst when it comes to saying an injury is not serious and then the player disappears. Such is the case apparently with Paul Stastny. He went from playing tonight to week-to-week in less than 24 hours. (STLToday)
Fans are more than happy to tell you if they are disappointed about Vladimir Tarasenko’s perceived dip in goal scoring. The man himself doesn’t pay it much mind though as, even with a goal of scoring 40 or more every season, he’d rather worry about winning than personal stats. (Post-Dispatch)
The Chicago Wolves have gone on a bit of a skid here lately, dropping four in a row. On the bright side, a certain highly touted prospect picked up his first professional point and the team is still getting good overall performances from the guys under Blues contracts. (Wolves)
With no Stastny and no hope of anyone else returning from injury, the Blues will have a decidedly different look tonight. While there is no confirmation on lineups yet, Daily Faceoff has put together the most likely pairings for the Blues lineup this evening. (Daily Faceoff)
The races at the top of the divisions in the Western Conference has cooled off quite a bit with Chicago and San Jose having cushions. The rest of the division is still up for grabs, especially in the Pacific where a game of leap frog with huge home-ice ramifications may have been set up for the rest of the year. (NHL)