The St. Louis Blues roller coaster season is beginning to catch up to them in terms of the crowding of the division. They aren’t in dire straights yet, but that point is getting quite close.
The St. Louis Blues prepare to take on the Dallas Stars for the fourth time this season tonight. The Stars will be the first team the Blues have seen that many times this year.
Familiarity breeds contempt as these two teams have developed quite a rivalry since facing off in the playoffs in 2016. The Blues have had the better of the rivalry during that time, winning 13 of their last 19 meetings.
None of that matters at the moment though. Dallas won the last contest and, more importantly, the Stars are breathing down the Blues neck in the playoff race.
These are incredibly important games and times for the Blues. There are 10 days until the NHL trade deadline. Counting their game against the Stars, the Blues have four games remaining before that day.
Just as important, three of those games are against divisional opponents. So, if they did not already, the Blues will have a clear understanding of where they stand as a team and where they are in the division by the time they absolutely have to decide whether to make deals or not.
Know Thy Enemy
Fortunately for the Blues, Dallas has been just as up and down lately. The Stars have not been able to capitalize on the Blues struggles.
Dallas is 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. However, they have matched the Blues winning when St. Louis won and vice versa, so the point differential remained the same.
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Dallas gained a game in hand by having February 13 off, but the Blues gained a point by taking Nashville to overtime.
After a sluggish start, the Stars offense has come to life. They are currently fifth in the conference in total goals scored.
Their defense and goaltending have gotten on the same page as well. Their 151 goals allowed is tied with the Blues for third fewest in the conference.
So far, the home team has won every game in this season series. That gives the Stars a decided edge, having doubled up St. Louis, 4-2, in their last meeting in Dallas.
Overall, Dallas is very healthy and will be trouble for the Blues to stop. The Stars have three 20-goal scorers and four fifty-point scorers at the moment.
In case you missed it, the Blues made a trade yesterday. They acquired Nikita Soshnikov from Toronto. He will not be on the team’s roster tonight as he has to apply for a U.S. visa.
Speaking of not being on the roster, don’t expect to see Tage Thompson or Zach Sanford. Both players were sent down to San Antonio to get games under your belt.
Despite some struggles during the year, the Blues offense has been lively against Dallas. In three games, they’ve averaged three goals per game. You’d like that to be a little higher, but the two goals in 4-2 loss is the only thing bringing the average down.
St. Louis is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games after that Nashville debacle. They are still solid on the road though, going 15-9-4 this season.
Where To Watch
Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Southwest, NHL Network-US
Fox Sports Go, NHL.tv (subscriber fee)
KMOX, KMOX.com, Blues app
Neither of these teams are known for their intense, physical play. Despite that, I think we are going to see a very heavy game.
It’s not going to be old school Blues vs. North Stars type hockey, but they’re going to get after it. Both of them know what is at stake and I think both coaches don’t want to lose to the other.
Dallas will be much more rested, but they also have not played in four days. The Blues will be wanting to wash that nasty Nashville taste from their mouths.
I think this is going to be a 4-3 game, win or lose. I’m leaning more toward St. Louis being on the positive side of that scoreline at the moment.