The St. Louis Blues seem to keep having opportunities to hit the same notes during this season, no pun intended. With another long home stand in front, they need to end the month strongly.
The St. Louis Blues have a great opportunity in front of them as the end of January nears. They have four games left before the calendar turns and all four games will be played at home.
I enter this article with some trepidation, being superstitious, since the last time I mentioned making Scottrade Center a fortress, the Blues wet the bed against Florida. However, they are getting another chance to hit that high note at home.
The Blues are a pretty good team at home in 2017-18 overall. Entering their home stand, they are 15-9-0.
Six games over .500 is not something to jump over the moon about. However, it is a pretty decent mark overall.
It is a .625 win percentage, which most teams would strive for. Only four teams in the Western Conference have more wins on their home ice.
The flip side of all that positivity is the recent streak at home has spoiled what could be a much better looking mark.
The Blues have won their last two games after their bye week. Those games were on the road though, where the team boasts a current record of 13-8-3, which is still a .542 win percentage.
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Their recent mark at home is not quite as sparkling. In December and to this point in January, the Blues are 6-5-0 on home ice. That just is not going to cut it.
For whatever reason, the Blues just cannot get into a steady groove at home. They seem to win one, lose one, then win a couple and lose a couple. Even in January alone, they are 2-1-0, gaining two hard fought wins over New Jersey and Vegas before an embarrassing loss to Florida.
You can’t be an up and down team at home if you want to make home-ice advantage mean something in the playoffs. You need to be able to utilize the fan momentum to create an unbeatable atmosphere.
Winning at home does not automatically create a good team. Colorado has the second most home wins of any team in the west. They’re clinging to life as a wild card team.
So, clearly the Blues can continue their current success with the status quo. However, they are mainly living off their spectacular first month of play.
That is why the team must end January so strongly. If they can make their home arena a hard place to play again, they are setting the tone for the playoff run to come.
St. Louis can also send a message that they are capable of putting down their hang ups. The Blues seem to play up or down to their opponents level.
They’ll be playing some mid-level to bad teams in the next handful of games. They’ll play Arizona, Ottawa, Colorado and Montreal to end the first month of 2018.
Arizona is in last in the Western Conference. Ottawa is in second to last in the East. Colorado is a bad road team and Montreal is only three points ahead of the Senators.
The Blues have to send a message. You might not win every game left in January, but they can’t have any more of these games where you wonder if they even got out of bed.
St. Louis has to defend their home ice and let teams know they’re going to have to play their very best to win here. It is an oversimplification, but that is how it must be.
Good teams – Cup contending teams – know how to win at home. It is time for the Blues to show they are that kind of team again.