The St. Louis Blues end their season series with the Dallas Stars with an afternoon game today. It’s almost a must win for the Note today.
The St. Louis Blues are falling further behind in the standings. They are now three points behind the Dallas Stars and two points behind Anaheim for the final playoff spot.
The problem with that is the Blues are almost in a must-win scenario right now against Dallas. A win for the Stars does not knock the Blues out, but it almost rules them out of anything but the eighth seed.
If the Stars win today, suddenly the Blues have five points to make up instead of one. That’s not impossible, but Dallas will still have a game in hand.
The Blues schedule will lighten up a bit towards the end of the season, in terms of quality of opponent. However, you cannot let yourself fall too far behind before that happens. St. Louis also has a California trip coming up next week that always presents a challenge.
This game, in terms of placement in the season, could be thought of with little consequence, normally. It has great significance to the Blues though and hopefully we see that in their play.
Know Thy Enemy
Dallas has failed to bury the Blues, but they are picking up just enough points here and there to keep themselves at arm’s length. Dallas went to overtime with Tampa in their last game, but could not extract the extra point with a 5-4 loss.
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Still, Dallas is holding their head above water. They are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games, which includes a 2-1 win over St. Louis back on February 16.
The Stars remain one of the more dominant home teams. They’ve gone 22-10-2 on home ice. The home team has won every game in the season series so far, which gives Dallas a decided advantage.
The last time the Stars lost to the Blues at home was December of 2016.
Robert Bortuzzo has been activated from IR. That gives the Blues an extra defenseman and returns their lineup to a normal three scratches.
The last time the Blues had a winning streak was on February 8 and 9. It was a modest two-game streak, defeating Colorado and Winnipeg. While it’s not quite a month, more than three awful weeks and eight games have happened in that time.
The Blues played OK in Dallas the last time they were there. They need to challenge the goaltender more and create more second opportunities. Ben Bishop is too good to expect to score on your first shot.
The Blues will look to Vladimir Tarasenko to keep rolling. He’s got three goals in his last five games this season. He also has four goals and one assist in his last five played against Dallas.
Projected Lineup from the team website:
A little surprising to see Berglund return already. However the team’s website said Nikita Soshnikov has an illness and did not make the trip. So, Berglund was more of a necessity than a true inclusion.
Where To Watch
Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Southwest
Fox Sports Go App, NHL.tv (subscriber fee)
Y98, Y98.com, Blues app
The Blues, mercifully, return to Fox Sports today. They had three straight games on NBC networks and while national coverage is usually a good thing, it’s nice to have your own announcers.
The Blues will also make a switch on radio. They’ll have the game on FM, presumably due to Cardinals’ preseason. Y98 will carry the game.
It will be a 1 pm puck drop in the Central Time Zone.
I think the Blues will come out hard in this game. I think they’ll play better. I have a feeling it won’t be enough.
Dallas is not on fire, but they’re in better form than the Blues. Often it only takes that one win to get you on the right course, but I’m not sure that Detroit game was enough to cure St. Louis.
This will be a close game, I feel. I think the Blues get a point and take it to overtime, but Dallas takes the extra point. I’ll say a 3-2 final.