The St. Louis Blues are in the midst of a slump that has brought them back to the pack. One of the league’s best might be just what they need to get them out of it.
Reading the headline might be a little puzzling to some. The St. Louis Blues have lost three games in a row. Why in the world would they want to face the Pittsburgh Penguins?
On the surface, that is a correct assessment. Pittsburgh has won three in a row and they have the third most goals scored in the Eastern Conference.
Only Tampa Bay has a better goal differential in the East as well. With St. Louis struggling to score, that does not sound very appetizing to face.
However, history is on the Blues side here. St. Louis lost to the Penguins back in December by a score of 6-1. That was when they were playing some of their worst hockey of the season.
History comes into the equation with that loss. The Blues have not been swept by the Penguins in a season series since 2010. That only occurred because the teams from the East and West did not play one another in home and away games each year.
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So, if the stats hold true, the Blues will defeat the Penguins and even things up. Does not feel likely, but trust in history.
Even if we only look at this season, we do have reason to think the Blues will be up for this game.
St. Louis plays much better on the road, for whatever reason. The Blues are seven games above .500 on the road. They are only two games above that mark at home. So, playing out east might favor them.
The last reason is much more anecdotal. However, the Blues play up to their competition a lot.
Just was we saw them look awful against the worst team in the NHL, they rise to the occasion more times than not. We saw that not too long ago when the Blues held down the Tampa Bay Lightning, 1-0. It never felt like St. Louis was holding on for dear life either. They just played a hard, solid game.
Now, they must do the same against the Penguins and, if they do, they can win. The funny thing is as much as fans revere the Penguins, they only have three more wins than the Blues do coming into this meeting. So, it is not as if the team is punching above their weight class.
The Blues just have to return to the type of hockey that won them so many games during that streak. They need to get out of their head and focus. Trying to shut down a team like Pittsburgh might be just what they need to get them out of their own heads.