The St. Louis Blues have played themselves in and out of trouble during the 2018-19 campaign. They must do it again as the season winds down.
When the St. Louis Blues began the 2018-19 season, we knew they had plenty of potential to make the playoffs, but there was the question of how everyone else in the division and conference would fare. Now, the Blues are in a similar situation where they have all the potential to make the postseason, but they can no longer worry about the others.
Time and situations make different scenarios when it comes to life and certainly in sports. When the 2018-19 season started, we all wondered where the Blues would finish.
There was the possibility they could finish on top of the Central Division, but there was so much competition. The Winnipeg Jets were fresh of a trip to the conference finals and Nashville was only one year removed from playing the Stanley Cup Final.
We all knew Dallas was much better than the team that missed the playoffs in 2017-18 with all that offensive talent. Colorado has some star scorers, but was an unknown.
Minnesota was floating in that middle ground where they could finish high or low. Chicago was expected to finish out of the playoffs, but you never can tell with those pesky Blackhawks.
As the season went on, though, it seemed as though the Blues were letting things slip away from them. Their poor play put them in last place in the entire NHL and it seemed more likely they would be in for a lottery pick than a playoff spot.
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With nothing left to worry about in terms of who was in front of them, since everyone was in front of them, the Blues could only worry about themselves. That’s around when they started playing a little looser and finally charged up the standings.
Of course, nobody is saying their recent slump has anything to do with watching the standings, but the Blues have returned to the point where they can only worry about themselves. They are in a good spot, even with things feeling like they are sliding the other way. So, they need to worry about the locker room and what they do on the ice.
Fans love to watch the scoreboard and look at the standings. When there are days off, there is little else to do in regards to the NHL.
That said, the Blues need to tune that all out. They can’t be worried about how many points the Wild have or whether they went to overtime. They cannot be concerned with what Dallas is doing.
The Blues have to worry about what they do each night they take the ice and if they take care of their own business, they will turn out fine.
Fortunately, the Blues have a large number of games against the Eastern Conference. St. Louis has a very good record against the East, in fact it is the second best of all Western Conference teams.
Interestingly, the Blues only have two more games against the Central Division too. In the last week of the season, they play Chicago and Colorado.
The Blues are not that great against Chicago this season, but all those games came early when the team was in the dumps. They are currently undefeated against Colorado in 2018-19.
Things won’t be easy with games remaining against teams like Tampa Bay, Vegas and Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, if the Blues handle their own business, they will be fine no matter what the other teams do.
As fans, we are going to do a lot of hand-wringing over the next few weeks. That’s what we do. That cannot be what the team does.
The Blues must stay focused on their own game, which has plenty of issues anyway. If they play their best, there will be nothing to worry about. If not, then things will be different, but as long as their destiny is in their own hands, the situation is within control.