Good morning Blues fans! The weekend is almost over and the season is almost over. Still, there are important moments left for our hockey team to achieve if they want to succeed in the playoffs.
The St. Louis Blues take on the Nashville Predators this afternoon for the final time this season – well, at least the regular season. Even with games coming after today, it really could be a make-or-break kind of game.
The Blues enter today’s game with the exact same amount of points, but the Predators have played an extra game. So, with the Blues having the edge in regulation/overtime wins and a game in hand, today is not literally do or die.
However, it remains significant to both teams. If Nashville wins, they jump over St. Louis and back into the third spot in the division. Even though they don’t hold the tie-breaker, they still have the mental edge.
If St. Louis wins, they all but end the Predators hopes of finishing higher than a wild card team. That is significant since Nashville just beat Minnesota 3-0 and would like to have that confidence playing them right away.
A win for St. Louis or Nashville temporarily vaults them back over Calgary too. While that is becoming less and less significant, it remains important to make every strive to avoid Chicago in the first round.
People can say you have to go through Chicago if you hope to win all they want. I’ll take my chances with getting a first round win and hoping someone else expended the energy to knock off the Blackhawks, thank you.
The Blues are going to have to play much better if they hope to win today. They have not played bad, except against Colorado, and even had some good efforts recently but there have been a lot of games against bad teams.
You make the same mistakes the Blues have been against the Preds and you’re toast. Nashville has already shown that, beating the Blues three of four times this season.
It is hard to tell how these two teams will stack up against each other though. The last Blues win was back in November and the last time they even played was back in December.
This is a completely different Blues team than then in both roster makeup and mentality. Hopefully they will be able to show that on the ice.
For the Blues, it is important to just win. Just from a mental standpoint, they need to show they can beat playoff caliber opponents since it’s been a bit soft here at the end of the season.
The Blues could also use the boost of beating a team they have struggled with. Normally Blues/Predators games are incredibly close. In 2016-17, the Preds have won by an average of 3.5 goals to 1.8.
That’s basically a two goal difference, which is almost unheard of in this rivalry. The last time the margin was that wide was 2013-14, when the Blues swept the season series.
It will be a hard fought contest with lots of playoff implications on the line. Let us all hope we get the real Blues today and not whatever showed up that last game in Colorado. Remember too, the game is at 3 p.m.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
By now you’ve probably all heard of the story of Ari, the young girl with cancer who brought a cake to Vladimir Tarasenko and has now become an unofficial member of the team practically. While the focus is rightly on her, Ari’s presence during this last road trip had just as much an impact on the players too. (STLToday)
The St. Louis Blues are definitely not healthy right now. Robert Bortuzzo is officially out for today, but with two players being brought up from the AHL, it begs the question of whether one of the forwards is injured as well. (Post-Dispatch)
Wade Megan continues to lead the AHL in goals and a certain Blues prospect scored his first professional goal last night. It was not enough though as the Wolves continue to slid a bit, but can turn it back around with another game tonight. (Wolves)
Injuries are part of the game and almost what makes hockey players so special, as they play through them. However, there have been several scary incidents this season and the most recent one involved the Flyers and a player collapsing out of nowhere. (ESPN)
Brendan Shanahan played with a handful of teams in his career. Though he is part of the front office of Toronto now, his greatest successes came in Detroit. So, it should come as no surprise that Shanahan jumped at the chance to lace the skates one last time in Joe Louis Arena. (NHL)
Have a great day Blues fans!