The St. Louis Blues season could end this evening. However, they seem to respond better to that than success.
The St. Louis Blues season is on the brink of collapse in 2020. If you had told people ahead of time that the Vancouver Canucks might be the team to undo the championship reign, most Blues fans would have scoffed.
That is the reality the team faces going into Game 6 of their opening round series. However, there might not be the nerves one would expect going into an elimination game.
Some of that stems from simply being a champion. Knowing you’ve gone the distance and overcome obstacles gives you a certain calmness that will definitely benefit St. Louis in the upcoming game.
Another thing that helps is this team’s odd insistence on thriving under pressure. They almost seem to enjoy being in the underdog role more than on top of the mountain and defending the spot.
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We need look no further than the 2019 playoffs for examples. The Dallas Stars series comes straight to the forefront.
While that series panned out differently, with the teams trading games back and forth, it still had the Blues losing the pivotal Game 5. To make matters worse, they had to go back to Dallas for Game 6.
Still, with their backs against the wall, the Blues found a way to get it done. They had a fairly convincing win at 4-1 too.
The San Jose series was very different, but still showed an ability to overcome. The Blues trailed the series 2-1 after the infamous hand pass. They won three straight to take the series.
In the final against the Boston Bruins, the Blues showed they are not as comfortable with success. They had a chance to end the series at home in a huge Game 6. St. Louis laid an egg, losing 5-1, but coming back to win the crucial elimination game, Game 7.
So, while it is easy to be down on this club due to their lack of interest in the round-robin games and straying from their style to lose Game 5, why would we not expect the Blues to right the ship? They’ve done it before and can still do it again.
Put aside the nonsense goalie “controversy”. No matter who is in there, if the Blues play their style they can and will win.
The main question regarding the Blues roster will be in net. I fully expect Jordan Binnington to regain his spot in the net, but more as a message to the team as opposed to any determination that Jake Allen would not win this game.
Carl Gunnarsson might be put back in after missing Game 5.
Other than that, the only tweak would be if Alex Steen is healthy enough to play. If he can go, I would assume he would go in and Troy Brouwer would get the bench. However, Berube has said he doesn’t think Steen will be fit to play
As usual, that is all speculation. The team never releases the information prior to warmups and Craig Berube was noncommittal about the goaltending scenario.
Where/When to watch/listen
Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Go, NBCSN
101 ESPN, NHL app
The Canucks gained a lot of momentum with a comeback win in Game 5. I just can’t see the Blues losing in this game.
I think they come out with a vengeance and win 5-2. Then, the chips fall where they may in a Game 7.