The St. Louis Blues have an interesting opportunity in front of them as they enter the new year. If they can close out strong, they have some breaks in front of them as a reward.
The St. Louis Blues have lots of markers that are coming up and we do not mean the kind you use to write with. Instead, they have several breaks built into the schedule for January. That means, they have plenty of incentive to put everything into the end of December and start of January.
Just the other day, we discussed how the Blues must avoid the post-holiday blues. However, that discussion was as much about the fans as it was about the team.
Reading Tom Timmerman’s article in the Post-Dispatch, pointed out how fortunate the Blues could be if they can catch some fire. It will not be easy though.
As we mentioned in the previous article, the Blues have to face Nashville, Dallas on the road and then back home against Calgary. That first one is a doozy.
As Timmerman points out, you could technically call the Predators the first place team since they have more points per game than the Blues, who have played more. Regardless, it will be an important game for the Blues to see how well they measure up, given their current roster.
Beyond just the opponents, the Blues have a great opportunity to go balls to the wall, so to speak. December was their busiest month, but we can all hope the holiday break recharged the team’s batteries.
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They do still have three games left in the month, but then there are plenty of breaks to look forward to. The All-Star break, as well as the Blues bye week all fall in January.
The Blues will feast on a steady diet of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday games. The only departure from that schedule is a Sunday game against Washington.
While Timmerman discussed the schedule in terms of the Blues not seeming like a true first place team, I think it’s a chance for the team to show what they are made of.
December can be grueling because there is so much going on. The Blues played 16 games in 28 days. Add in the pressures of back-to-backs and also the holiday season, which is intense for anyone and it’s a tough ask.
January has none of that. You can focus solely on hockey. You don’t have that black cloud of the schedule hanging over your head any longer.
Instead of looking ahead and thinking they have to keep energy in the tank for the next game or the one after that, the Blues can get back to focusing on the game at hand. They can channel all their energy on that one opponent.
There will be plenty of rest to be had for guys that really put their all into their upcoming play. The Blues will have six days off for their buy weeks. After that, they get four days off for the All-Star game.
There can be no excuses in January. The Blues do have some tough opponents, but energy should not be lacking.
The key will be to finish December strong. 3-0 would be great, but 2-1 has to be the goal. If you can clean up in December, things will really set up nicely for the Blues in January.
St. Louis just needs to stop paying attention to outside influences. Focus on the task at hand, get things done and they can put some of their rivals back in the rear view mirror.