The St. Louis Blues are just like the rest of us when it comes to dealing with the days right after the holidays. Unlike us, they cannot use that as an excuse for poor performance.
The St. Louis Blues are human beings, despite what some people think. With that in mind, they are just like the rest of the general public.
They have to eat, sleep, rest etc. So, they also have to deal with the post-holiday blues – no pun intended.
The lights are turned off or taken down. The meals are all done, so you might still be having turkey hangover – or a regular hangover if you went that extra step. There’s no more presents to open or parties to attend. I’m getting a sinking feeling in my gut just thinking about it.
The period right after Christmas through New Years is always the worst time of the year for me. Christmas is just such a build up and happy time that it is disappointing when it is over.
Of course, not everyone feels that way. Some get relief from the pressure of buying. Regardless of which you think you are, it is kind of depressing to go from the joy and light of Christmas time to the bleak, cold of regular winter.
Still, the Blues cannot focus on any of that. They have to hit the ground running and get a great jump entering 2018.
The team’s first game out of the gate is an important divisional matchup with Nashville. Not counting the playoffs, the Blues last win over Nashville was in April of 2017. Fortunately, it is a home game. The Blues have not won in Nashville since February of 2016.
After that, the Blues still have to be on their toes. Despite much lower records than either hoped to have, the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes are still dangerous opponents.
Dallas was 4-4-2 heading into the Christmas break. They’ve still managed to get themselves on the right path and leap-frogged the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings.
The Blues have been fairly dominant over Dallas of late. Their last loss was in November of 2016, so you figure they’re almost due for a let down.
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Then, the Hurricanes are another team treading water. They’re kind of stuck around .500, but were 5-3-2 heading into their break.
They are not out of the playoff race though, so they’re going to need to come out of the gates hot as well.
Things do not get easier to begin 2018 either. The Blues open 2018 with the firs-place New Jersey Devils on January 2 and then the Vegas Golden Knights, who are still tied for first in the Pacific.
So, the Blues need to get as many points out of their remaining games in December to give themselves a little leeway with their January games.
The cynical fan might say the Blues need to be on their game at any point in the year. That would be fantastic if possible, but as mentioned previously, they are human. Even the strongest of us have let downs.
The Blues looked like a very tired team heading into their break. They need to have recharged their batteries and come out much closer to the team that opened the season than the one that ended the calendar year.
Despite our complaints, the Blues are still in first place in their division. They’re still outscoring all but three teams in the conference.
It cannot be said they were playing well though. Their Canadian road trip was extremely rough until the last game.
The Blues cannot afford another stretch of hockey like that. Yes, they have a cushion, being at the top. Last season proved that that Blues really need to have home ice advantage though.
The playoffs might seem far away now, but spring success can be set up with winter wins right now. So, the Blues have to come out of the break with some fire.
They have to get some wins early and start the new year off with good feelings. Winter is hard enough for us to deal with in general, but we can’t have the Blues have any post-holiday blues.