The St. Louis Blues always knew their series against the Winnipeg Jets was going to be tough. However, so much in this series defies logic and conventional wisdom.
The St. Louis Blues knew they had their work cut out for them when they ended up with the same amount of points as the Winnipeg Jets. At the time, we thought it was a bad thing that the Jets ended up with home ice advantage.
Who knew things would work out the way they have? Nobody, that is who. There is not one person on this Earth, that does not have some sort of fortune telling powers, that could have foreseen how this series has played out.
Basically, almost nothing about this series makes sense. As John Kelly said after Game 5, this is crazy.
For starters, this is the only series in which the away team has won every single game. Home ice has meant very little in the 2019 NHL playoffs across the board, but home teams have won at least one game in every other series.
In addition to that oddity, the stats don’t seem to add up either.
More from Editorials
- St. Louis Blues Need Kasperi Kapanen To Be On Best Behavior
- Hayes’ Debut And Other Bold Predictions for the St. Louis Blues
- St. Louis Blues Captaincy Is Suddenly A Huge Problem For 2023-24
- St. Louis Blues National Games Cause More Problems Than They’re Worth
- St. Louis Blues Brayden Schenn Has To Be An Impact Player In 2023-24
Blocked shots are usually a good indicator that a team is playing good defense and thus more likely to win. However, with the exception of Game 1, which St. Louis won, the team that has more blocked shots has actually lost.
The more physical team has lost every time too. In every single game this series, the team that had the most hits in the contest has lost.
The power play has not played as pivotal a role as initially thought either. With the exception of Game 5, the team with more power play goals scored has lost each time too. The only other exception was Game 1, when neither team scored one, but the Jets had more opportunities, which normally leads to at least a goal.
Faceoffs have not mattered as much. The Blues had an equal or lower faceoff win percentage in their three wins. They had large margins of victory on the dot during their losses.
Scoring first has not entered into the equation too. The Blues won Game 2 when scoring first, but the team that has opened up the scoring has lost every other game.
Even giveaways have not had an incredible factor. It all seems like madness.
Really, you have to have watched each game to truly tell what the differences have been. You clearly can’t learn a darn thing from the stat sheets.
The major difference has been zone entry, zone exit and offensive zone pressure. The team that has had the most sustained pressure toward the end of the game has usually won.
Now, some of that is an eye test. The Blues were absorbing a lot of pressure in their first two away wins, so you might argue against the point. Still, they were making good on their chances when confident enough to gain the offensive blue line.
In the Blues losses, they looked timid. They were just hoisting the puck into the air, hoping it would land on a friendly stick at center ice. Most times it would not, allowing the Jets to storm right back in or voiding a possible line change for the Note.
St. Louis has been at their best when they carry the puck over the blue line. When they have looked terrible, they were just trying to dump it in, even when they had some space, or carry it over and then immediately drop it off, which has become predictable.
The other main difference has been goaltending. Jordan Binnington has been steady-to-spectacular throughout and Connor Hellebuyck has been mediocre-to-good. The mediocre games, or just above that level, have gone the Blues way.
Even so, none of this makes any sense. If you told us the Blues would be up a game after five games, nobody would have bat an eye. It is how it has happened though.
Most would have said the Blues won both their home games and stole one of the games in Winnipeg. Instead, not a single game has been won by a home team. I’m sure that has happened in NHL history, but I could not tell you the last time.
Blues fans are hoping that part of this madness changes and they can win a home game in Game 6. Time will tell on that or if the Blues could steal another one in Winnipeg in a potential Game 7.
Regardless, this has been one of the most interesting series we have ever seen.