We’ve Gone Down This Road Before
Dallas is a really good team. Nobody should be surprised if they manage to win this series.
That does not mean the Blues are outmatched, even if we sometimes fear they are. We were just down that road with the Jets and the Blues took care of their business.
Going into the opening round of the playoffs, everyone said the Jets were probably the worst matchup the Blues could have drawn. They were bigger, stronger, faster and just as talented, if not more.
It was not pretty and we had a lot of nervous nights, but the Blues won and deserved to do so. There is nothing to say the same will not happen against the Stars.
Yes, the Blues were dominated by Dallas throughout the regular season. St. Louis also had a 1-3 regular season record against the Jets.
The Blues were not sharp defensively against the Stars. The Blues got outscored 18-9 in their three regular season losses to the Jets.
That had little impact on the playoff series. The regular season should not impact the Stars series either.
By now, the Blues have proven they can beat anyone and everyone when they play their game. That is not to say the Stars can’t do the same, but if the Blues play their best I like their chances more than most.
Craig Berube proved he had the guts to make lineup changes when the series dictated it. That gives him even more options against the Stars, once the Blues figure out what is working and what might not.
On top of all that, the Blues have home ice. We have seen that home ice meant nothing in the Winnipeg series and across the NHL, really. Even so, you would rather have it than be forced to win so many games on the road.
The key, as with almost every series, will be to hold home ice advantage and steal at least one game in Dallas. Easier said than done, but not impossible by any means.
Like the Blues, Dallas has been playing playoff hockey for months just to get in. They are battle tested, but sometimes that momentum wears off. If it does, the Blues are primed to take advantage.
Circling back, the Blues just need to worry about themselves. They clicked on enough things against Winnipeg to give them a lot of confidence. There are things they can improve on, but the coaching staff has shown they can and will make the adjustments to correct or cover those mistakes.
The Blues can win this series. I think they will. it is up to them.