The St. Louis Blues are clinging to their playoff lives at the moment. With the number of games dwindling, the time could not be worse to play against one of the league’s best.
The St. Louis Blues are doing their best to keep their playoff hopes alive. They have won four of their last five games, though like their playoff run last season, they’ve taken some extra energy by going to overtime in two straight.
However, their current opponent could not be coming along at a worse time. The Blues take on the Boston Bruins, who are one of the league’s highest flying teams right now.
The Bruins were kind of middling in the lower levels of their divisonal playoff spot through much of the season. Just prior and definitely after the trade deadline, Boston has munched on that Mario mushroom and grew into one of the league’s superpowers.
So, you have two teams on almost opposite ends of the spectrum on national television. The Blues are toward the bottom, gasping for air and still reaching for that playoff life preserver. The Bruins are just about on top. They might not make it there, but they are still in the mix for the President’s Trophy.
It’s not what the Blues would have asked for if you laid out this situation prior to the season. It is what St. Louis has to deal with, though, if they want to make it to the postseason.
Know Thy Foe
The Bruins are flying pretty high in the league right now. They’ve climbed up to reaching distance of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the standings.
Boston did lose to Columbus in overtime in their last game. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games though, so they are on a pretty good winning ride.
Dating back to last season, the Bruins have won the last two games between these two franchises. They have won by a combined score of 8-4 in those games.
Boston is known for being defensive, which they still are. It is the goal scoring that has blown up this season. Boston just climbed over Pittsburgh and now only trails Tampa in the east for total goals scored.
Boston’s injury list is growing rather long, however. David Backes will miss the game with a laceration above his knee. Patrice Bergeron is still out, Zedeno Chara and Jake Debrusk are out with upper body injuries and Charlie McAvoy is out with a knee problem. Adam McQuaid and Rick Nash are questionable for tonight, but have not been ruled out.
The Bruins do have fresh legs though. They just signed Olympic star Ryan Donato and he already has a goal and two points in one game played.
Hope is beginning to fade for the Blues. They are three points behind Anaheim for the final playoff spot. They also lost ground to Colorado and Los Angeles, who won and went to overtime, respectively, in their last games.
We are not there yet, but are approaching the time when the Blues would have to win out and still need help.
As mentioned, the Blues lost their last two against Boston, including a 3-1 defeat earlier this year. The last time they beat Boston in St. Louis was in February of 2015.
St. Louis does have a favorable winning percentage against the east, though. St. Louis is 19-9-1 against Eastern Conference
More from Analysis
- St. Louis Blues and Cardinals Similar In All The Wrong Ways
- St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 82 At Dallas
- St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 81 Vs Dallas
- St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 80 At Minnesota
- St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 79 Vs NY Rangers
opponents this year.
According to the team website, the Blues streaks against Boston are decent but not great.
"Jaden Schwartz has a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists, and points in seven of eight career games against the Bruins (four goals, five assists).Alexander Steen has eight points in his last 11 games (one goal, seven assists).Pietrangelo has five points in his last eight games (two goals, three assists).Jake Allen is 3-1-0 with a 1.86 goals-against average, a .949 save-percentage and one shutout in five career starts against the Bruins."
The Allen one will be key. He is going to be heavily tested by Boston, even if they have a depleted lineup.
Projected Lineup from the team website:
The people who need straitjackets can talk all they want about this team playing better without 91 or 19, but this is definitely not the lineup you would have projected if you needed a win against a top team.
It will require a complete team effort, top to bottom, to pull this one off.
Where To Watch
NBC Sports Network
NBC Sports App, NHL.tv (subscriber fee)
KMOX, KMOX.com, Blues app
The puck drops just after 7 pm Central Time.
I consider myself a positive person and I always believe my teams have a shot, no matter what. That said, I don’t see the Blues winning this one.
St. Louis’ best chance is that Boston is depleted enough that the Blues can take advantage. That is always a possibility, since it takes awhile for new linemates to get used to each other. However, Boston already had a game with a lessened lineup and still scored four goals.
The Blues have played exceedingly well the last handful of games. I’m just not sure they have it in them to not have a letdown.
This team has not had a five-game winning streak all season long. Even the times getting to three or four have been few.
They have won two in a row, but both required coming from behind and going to overtime. Boston will not afford you that opportunity if you let them get ahead.
St. Louis has to score first if they’re going to win. I see this one going the other way though, with the B’s winning 4-2.