St. Louis Blues April 3, 2019: Thoughts From The Common Fan

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 01: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole (28) and St. Louis Blues center Robert Thomas (18) compete for the puck during a NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues on April 01, 2019, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 01: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole (28) and St. Louis Blues center Robert Thomas (18) compete for the puck during a NHL game between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues on April 01, 2019, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Blues have little bits and blurbs that come out now and then. So, in an attempt to discuss them without devoting entire articles to each, we’ve come up with a new segment.

Credit for this idea goes to one of my coworkers – yes, shockingly, I do have a full-time job outside of this. The St. Louis Blues always have little bits of information coming out, so it occurred to him to have them all in one article and instead of calling it thoughts of the common man, we’d call it thoughts of the common fan and he were are.

Blues vs. Blackhawks

The St. Louis Blues take on the Chicago Blackhawks for the last time in 2018-19. It will be an interesting game for all involve.

The Blues are still trying to keep pace within the division. Nashville won their last game, so the Blues are back in third place in the Central Division.

A win over Chicago would accomplish two things. St. Louis would jump back into the second spot in the division and they would also eliminate Chicago from the playoff picture.

The Blackhawks are holding onto the slimmest of hopes. They basically have to win out and were only mathematically kept alive with their overtime loss to Winnipeg back on April 1.

This could and should spark some old rivalry hockey. How sweet would it be for the Blues to be the team that officially eliminated the Blackhawks from the playoffs?

Conversely, it is a bit scary playing a team fighting for their lives. The Blackhawks defense has been atrocious, but they can still put the puck in the net.

The Blues record against Chicago this year is bad, but all those games came well before Christmas. That was when St. Louis was playing their worst.

The Blues need to score first and it would be nice if Vladimir Tarasenko would keep up his domination of Chicago. A couple goals in his back pocket would be good.

O’Reilly For MVP?

So, doing a little research on Google, I found an article from one of our competitors, St. Louis GameTime. The premise of the article, in case you did not guess, is Ryan O’Reilly for the Hart Trophy.

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I would love for that to happen, but it will be a cold day in h-e-double hockey sticks if it does. The problem is two-fold.

First, O’Reilly has not gotten the love from the national media until lately. Those of us in St. Louis have been able to see how he has been the team’s only consistent performer and how he evolved quickly into a leader despite being on the team only a matter of months. St. Louis puts up good ratings, but that is because of their fan base. Listen to any national analyst talk about our team and you can pick up that they looked at a stat sheet and made some intelligent assumptions.

That is not going to garner you enough votes.

Second, as the GameTime article points out, too many votes go to the guy with the most points. If you look at the wording of the award, it is supposed to go to the player judge most valuable to his team.

If you truly go by the wording, then O’Reilly has every reason to be in that discussion. The Blues would likely be a flop and contesting for that eighth spot at best if not for O’Reilly.

He kept them going during the down times and they would be lost if not for him. He has made every winger paired with him better almost immediately. It is his easy style that has paired well with Brayden Schenn, who some thought would balk at the idea of going back to the wing after being the team’s second center.

His leadership style has been quiet enough not to ruffle feathers, but stern enough to command respect. If that’s not MVP caliber stuff, I don’t know what is.

The reality is that most don’t look at it in those terms. They figure the guy that put up the most points or the most goals is the most valuable, full stop.

If that is the end of the argument, O’Reilly won’t even get a single vote since he’s not even in the top-five scoring. It’s a fine sentiment, but the people in charge just do not vote that way.

More Goalie Cra…I mean stuff

Jake Allen should start tonight. I said it and I stand by it.

Allen has played well in his career against Chicago. He has also been much better on the road in 2018-19 than at home.

Also, he needs to play. These tools that get on social media and talk about having to go with the hot hand every night do not have a clue. You could probably count on one hand the amount of times a goaltender has played both games of a back-to-backs. I would bet that most of those times were due to injuries.

Also, as much as everyone loves Jordan Binnington, and at this point they should, he it unproven in the playoffs. Even as an Allen fan, I say Binnington should go into the playoffs as the starter. I would not be afraid to use the hook if he looks shaky at any point though since Allen has done well in the playoffs. People quickly forget that he stole that Minnesota series a couple seasons ago. He was also solid against Nashville two years ago, but the team gave him no offensive support.

You have to keep Allen warm and, no offense, but I do not trust the fools in the arena not to boo if any goal was scored should Allen play at home.

This is being written before they release the expected rosters, but I think Allen will be on there and Binnington will play at home against Philadelphia. That is the best scenario.

UPDATE – Looks like I was right, which is rare.

Shakeup

For those of you that subscribe or can afford to get one, check out Jeremy Rutherford’s latest on whether Doug Armstrong was close to trading bigger pieces.

Sadly, I do not have a subscription, so I can’t see what was actually said. I usually enjoy JR’s stuff though.

My own thoughts on it are that Armstrong was probably closer than he’ll admit. They showed him in the press box during several games and he was the living embodiment of seething disgust.

Maybe he never picked up the phone and talked turkey, but I think he had guys in mind that were going to go. Some might have involved asking for a waive of a no trade clause, but I can’t imagine the deadline going by the same way if the Blues had not turned things around.

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Good lord, I hope so. The Blues have been lucky that a lot of guys have stuck around, but if this kid lives up to his potential and stays a long time we would be in for a treat.

Have not been to this place myself, but 10% off is not bad if you are interested.

The Colorado Avalanche are in position to make the playoffs. They are also going to get a top-four draft pick. That is pretty much insane. I hope it was worth it to Ottawa.

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The Blues have three games, including tonight’s. I expect them to finish second in the division if they keep winning. Fingers crossed this will be a playoffs to be talked about for all the right reasons.