The St. Louis Blues have managed to keep their home ice relatively slanted toward the opposition’s net this season. Right before the bye week, they need to keep that going.
The St. Louis Blues have done a very good job of protecting their house, as the saying goes. The Blues have not been unbeatable at the Scottrade Center, but they have made it a difficult place to win on most nights.
They need to keep that going for their final game before the bye week and for the rest of the season, if possible. Right now, the Blues are in a prime position to gain home ice in the playoffs, so keeping the house protected needs to be a habit.
Right now, the Blues have two things going for them mentally as they get ready to fact the Florida Panthers prior to the team’s break. They have the home ice advantage and also a revenge factor.
Regardless of how any of us feel the team has played over the past month or so, there have only been a handful of games that the Blues were never in. One of those was a game against the Panthers way back in October.
A 5-2 scoreline doesn’t sound terrible. However, the Blues were never even that close. They let Florida, a team that even then was struggling a bit, dominate them from start to finish.
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With that in mind, the two teams are basically in the same position in the standings now as they were then. This time, the Blues need to prove to Florida that they are the better team. They need to show that they can defend their home turf.
That’s been just what the Blues have done of late. For the season, to this point, they are 15-8-0 on home ice and 11-8-3 on the road.
If seven games above .500 doesn’t get your motor going, the Blues have been even better of late. According to Fox Sports, St. Louis has won three straight and four of five on home ice. They’ve also kept the opposition quiet, with only seven goals against in those games.
If nothing else, the Blues need to just bounce back after their poor road trip. Seeming like they’d figured things out after three straight wins, the Blues came crashing down out east. They got blown out in Philadelphia and earned a point in Washington, but lost even though they were the better team for much of the game.
St. Louis cannot afford many more games where they can say they were better but do not get the win. Not if they want to really stamp themselves as solid contenders.
Getting a solid win over Florida right before their bye week would be just that kind of signal. St. Louis seems to do fine against the top teams, but struggle with the middle-to-bottom tier teams – i.e. playing down to your opponent.
Home cooking could be just what the doctor ordered for that. Get a couple quick goals and get on top of this one and you set yourself up for success.
Florida won’t be easy though as they are looking to bounce back, same as the Blues. Like St. Louis, they are coming off a shootout loss where they were happy with their performance, but disappointed not to get the win.
They’ve also had three straight losses. Regardless of talent, it is hard to get a team to lose a fourth game, so the Blues will need to focus on this contest and not think about their mini-vacation plans.
If nothing else, the Blues need to play for their goaltender. Regardless of streaks or home ice, the Blues have spoiled good goaltending performances far too often of late.
It is suspected Allen will return to the net and a really good game for the Snake would send a clear message to fans and opponents alike.
Overall, fans just want to see good hockey and some wins. For the most part, they’ve seen that when they buy a ticket for a home game. St. Louis needs to keep that rolling.