The St. Louis Blues were put through the wringer in recent weeks. Players looked exasperated and fans were at wits end.
Just a week ago, the Blues were mired in a seven game losing streak. Coincidentally, the streak was bookended by embarrassing losses to the Vegas Golden Knights.
After getting thrashed 5-1 on March 22, Vegas added a goal to their total for a 6-1 win over the Blues on April 5. It may go without saying, but the Blues probably want to avoid Vegas at all costs, should they make the playoffs.
Yet, while that seven game losing streak was going on, making the playoffs began to seem like an outside chance instead of a given. The Blues had fallen out of a playoff spot by as many as five points and there seemed to be no indication game results would turn around.
That 3-1 win over Vegas following the spanking, did wonders for this team. They’ve now won three in a row (as of April 13) and leapfrogged back into a playoff spot. In fact, the Blues are back in the driver’s seat as far as their playoff lives go.
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As of April 13, the Blues are just one point above their nearest competitor, the Arizona Coyotes. However, the Yotes are in the middle of a four-game losing streak.
That means the Blues now have games in hand. Beyond just being a point ahead in the standings, the Blues have played two fewer games than the Coyotes. It would be less had the Blues played their April 12 game in Minnesota, but that’s not the point.
The point is the Blues have wiggle room again. They’re in a situation now where, if they won both or even won one and went to OT in the other, they would be at least four points up on Arizona once they’ve played the same amount of games.
Of course, that assumes the Blues win those games in hand. At this time of year, you cannot assume, but the Blues need to keep focused on winning whether they’re multiple points ahead or if they were still trying to catch Arizona. It could all swing back the other way if St. Louis drops a bunch of games again.
For now, the stats are on the Blues side. While the odds continually change, as of April 13, the Blues have a 42% chance of making the playoffs according to MoneyPuck. They don’t fancy the Blues to make the second round (10%) or win the Cup (0.4%), but as long as you get in, the team can take it out of the analyst’s hands.
Things won’t be easy, as many have said. The team has several games against the Avalanche, but they also have one last game against Arizona. Win that game and the gap in the standings really favors the Blues.
It’s funny how we can go from doom and gloom to feeling pretty good in a short span. That does not erase the things the team was doing poorly before, but winning cures a lot of ills.