Good morning Blues fans! The team is out on the road, but that doesn’t mean anything bad. St. Louis has done quite well away from the comforts of home.
The St. Louis Blues are on the road. While that means hotel beds that you can never tell if they are comfortable and restaurant food, it doesn’t mean losses for the Blues.
St. Louis has been surprisingly good away from the friendly confines of home ice. Whether they had home ice advantage or were the road team has not mattered much.
Over the last two playoff seasons, the Blues are 9-4 on the road. That includes being 3-0 away from home so far after taking all three games they had to play in Minnesota.
Does any of that mean they will be victorious today in Nashville? Absolutely not. It does mean they won’t be intimidated by the supposedly rowdy Predators fans.
No offense to the people of Nashville. I’m sure they are great fans with just the right amount of bite. However, when you’ve gone into Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and San Jose and won, Nashville doesn’t come off as so intimidating.
However, it is not the crowd that the Blues need to worry about. Nashville has enough talent in the rink to not care what’s going on outside the glass.
The Predators have taken the Blues down to the wire in both games so far, no matter who won. While they play with a different style and flare, the Preds are somewhat of a mirror of the Blues.
They roll out four lines, they have good offensive defending depth, good goaltending and are well coached. So, the venue these teams are playing in doesn’t seem to matter.
Other than sleeping in your own bed and having your team get the last change, home ice doesn’t seem like it will be a big deal. While we are only two games in, it seems hard to fathom this series not going seven games.
The Blues played well enough to win Game 1 and just could not muster enough breaks to take it. Game 2 was even more of a back and forth affair, but the Blues did not allow the downs to keep them down and ended up winning.
Going on the road will be a similar story. A lot of it is going to come down to who can stay out of the box and which team gets the breaks.
None of that is to say the team that wins each game is not deserving, but there has been a lot of bounces falling one way or the other that have played important roles. The Blues just need to put themselves in a better position to get those bounces.
While they have opened up both games very well, they have yet to score an early goal. If not for Vladimir Tarasenko‘s late goal in Game 2, the Blues would not have any first period goals in this series.
The big question now will actually be who adjusts to these odd game times the best. 2pm doesn’t sound bad, but there is no time for naps or morning skates unless you get up early. Then the 8:30 start throws a new wrench in for Game 4.
Both teams have to adjust. Whoever makes those adjustments quickest will be up in this series. Hopefully it will be the Blues.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
It might make our stomachs turn and our hair fall out, but the Blues don’t sweat these close games. Even the team would like more cushion toward the end of games, but they’re looking for wins, not style points. (STLToday)
It may have been more of a fluke than anything for the Blues to stay out of the box in Game 2. They gave no powerplays to Nashville and only took one penalty all game. Whatever the reason, St. Louis has made keeping the game even strength a priority. (Post-Dispatch)
When the Predators traded Shea Weber, it got a similar reaction to when the Blues traded Kevin Shattenkirk. Nashville just did not have the luxury of having free agency as an excuse. Despite this, the trades have worked out since each team has had players they hoped would step up do so. In Nashville’s case, it is Ryan Ellis. (NHL)
There is a reason they call it a lottery. The teams with the best chances to win are not always rewarded. That’s what happened when the ping-pong balls stopped in the NHL Draft Lottery. Colorado ended up with the fourth pick despite having the worst record and the top team was somewhat unexpected. (NHL)
Despite having one of the best goaltenders in the regular season, the Washington Capitals have not kept the puck out of the net against Pittsburgh. It seems hard to fathom not playing Braden Holtby, but don’t look to Barry Trotz for answers about who will be in net. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!