The St. Louis Blues tripped slightly in their final game of 2019. It’s right back on the horse, however, with a divisional game in the mountains.
The St. Louis Blues ended the 2010’s decade the same way as they ended the 2000’s, with a loss. However, the circumstances around the team could not be more different.
Obviously, the biggest difference, is the Blues are coming off a Stanley Cup victory. They also went 56-19-11 in 2019, setting a new team record for points in a calendar year with 123.
The game went differently too. Though the Blues lost and did not play well, they were in it until the end. Though the score was 3-1, the empty net goal made it farther away than the game really was.
Compare that to a 4-3 loss to Vancouver in 2009. The Blues were up 3-0 and let Vancouver storm back and win it in overtime. While the score was closer, you could get the sense the Blues were falling apart once Vancouver cracked the score sheet.
Flash forward ten years, and a couple days, and the Blues are still in a better place. They removed their coach shortly after in 2010, but Craig Berube is going nowhere anytime soon in 2020.
The Blues don’t have to sit and stew over the loss as they could in 2009-10 either. It is right back on the horse, refocus and get ready for the high-powered Colorado Avalanche.
How They Stack Up
The Blues maintain their place atop the division and the conference. They come into the game 26-9-6 with 58 points.
The Avalanche are in second in the division and the conference as well. They are 23-13-4 with 50 points.
The Blues have scored 128 goals and allowed 107. The Avs lead the conference in scoring with 144 goals but have allowed 119 goals.
St. Louis lost their last game, but have won eight of the last nine and 12 of the last 16. They are also nine games into their 12 game string against Western Conference opponents and have gone 8-1-0.
Colorado have lost four of their last six games and only mustered one point in their last three. The Avs lost 7-4 at home against Winniepg on New Year’s Eve.
The Blues have won both games against Colorado thus far in 2019-20. The Blues have won six straight against the Avalanche and are 9-2-3 in their last 14 games in Denver, though this team is quite different than the one most of those wins came against.
According to Chris Pinkert of the blues team website:
Sundqvist – O’Reilly – Perron
Schwartz – Schenn – Barbashev
Steen – Thomas – Bozak
MacEachern – de la Rose – Sanford
Faulk – Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester – Parayko
Dunn – Bortuzzo
With the Blues having won two games against Colorado already, logic would dictate the Avalanche are likely to break through. Far be it from a fan to actually use logic though.
There’s a lot at play for this game. The Blues have just lost a game and have proven to be incredible at bouncing back. The Blues three-game losing streak in December was their longest in well over a calendar year.
On the flip side, the Blues have a habit of breaking other team’s losing streaks. If you come in cold, all you need is to play the Blues and your goaltender will find their form and a win is quite likely.
However, the trust is with Craig Berube and his team. While it seems likely the Blues will eventually drop one to Colorado, it won’t be in this one.
Blues refocus and get their legs going. St. Louis wins 4-3.