The St. Louis Blues have really had a fantastic start to the season, perhaps their best in team history. They cannot afford to set themselves to cruise control because the horde is coming.
The St. Louis Blues better have had their fill of turkey and naps during Thanksgiving. They simply cannot afford to cruise through the rest of the holiday season.
The Blues are about to embark on a pretty rough schedule coming up. From Black Friday through New Years, the Blues have very few games you could consider easy wins. They are going to have to be on their game.
Things start off with a bang as the Blues get themselves in the thick of divisional play. They start their post-Thanksgiving trek with a game against the Nashville Predators.
The Predators have been slow out of the gate, but the same could be said of last season when they went all the way to the final. They Preds are really coming on right now though.
Nashville has won three in a row going into their game with St. Louis. They have also climbed up into the upper half of the division, behind only St. Louis and Winnipeg.
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After that it’s a machup with Minnesota. Many might classify that as a win, but the Wild are still a tough team to play against.
They are back above .500 with a 10-8-3 record coming out of the holidays. They are more of a mess, but they do still have the talent to make a good run this season.
After that quick duo of games, there are plenty more juicy games to sink the teeth into. The Blues close out November with the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks are like the Wild. They are hanging on to some older players clinging to some old hope, but they are still a team that cannot be overlooked and treated with respect.
December starts with Los Angeles. These aren’t the Kings of old. Like the Blues, they are a bit smaller and quicker and just as dangerous. They are jockeying back and forth for first place in their division too.
Based on the current standings, the Blues then have a couple “easy” games. They face Montreal and Dallas before heading on the road to Detroit. Montreal is one of the few teams that are below .500 this season and Dallas is currently last in the Central Division.
The Red Wings are progressing faster than many had thought, but they are still a very young team. The new arena is fantastic for Detroit, but despite being third in their division, it has been quite empty on many nights.
Another easy game comes at home against Buffalo on December 10. Then it’s back into the meat.
A potential meeting of the top teams in the league, if standings hold, as the Blues face the Lightning. Another game against the Ducks and then Winnipeg to close out the second full week of December.
Then the Blues go on their western Canadian swing. Regardless of where those teams are in the standings, that is always a brutal trip.
The Blues end the holiday season as they began. They face Nashville and then close out the month with Dallas and Carolina. The Hurricanes already showed they can give the Blues a game.
The holidays are always a fun time and supposed to be joyous. As fans, we’ll be joyous at getting so much hockey, but we cannot plan on nothing but wins the entire stretch either.
The Blues are well past the entire cliche of “the real test is coming up”. No, this team is legit on just a quarter of the season already.
Things can still swing the opposite way though and the Blues will be facing some serious challenges in the next month. If they enter 2018 the way they began the 2017-18 season, then they will have proved their mettle to the rest of the league, not just our small group of fans.