Sorry for no bullets tonight, I had to go suck terribly at a rec league game and had no time to write before leaving the house. By now you've all had the chance to talk about everything that went right in that game, one of the best was the timing of meeting a very good team that is playing very poorly right now.
Instead of a bunch of redundant bulletpoints, here are some talking points for when your idiot non-hockey co-workers ask you over and over tomorrow, "So, what is up with your Blues?"
- With 30 points in 24 games, the Blues are tied for fourth in the league in points. The leader? Pittsburgh, with 32 in 25 games. The Blues are fourth in the Western Conference, but only because they are not leading their division. The top two teams in the West? Minnesota and Chicago with 31 points each. The Blackhawks also have played 25 games.
- At 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, the Blues are tied with Detroit and Vancouver (both 8-2-0) for most points in the West in that span.
- T.J. Oshie is on pace for 24 goals and 31 assists (55 points). All three would be career highs for him, but he has five points in the last five games, so the hope is that he is responding to Coach Hitchcock's leadership and system and that he can surpass both totals.
- David Backes is on pace for the inverse of Oshie's numbers: 31 goals and 24 assists and 55 points. The goals would tie his career high and the other two would set new highs for him. Like Oshie, he has increased his totals of late, scoring four points in the last three games.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is on pace for 41 assists. Alex Pietrangelo is on pace to be the team's No. 1 defenseman right about. . . now.
- Brian Elliott leads the league in goals against average at 1.31 and save percentage at 95.1%. His record is 10-1-0. Jaroslav Halak's numbers aren't as impressive, but they're badly skewed by his early season struggles. The common perception around the league is that the Blues currently have two starting goaltenders. Both, by the way, are 26 years old.
- As a group, the Blues are almost all on the positive side of the plus/minus rating. The only guys who aren't? Evgeni Grachev (minus-3), Patrik Berglund (minus-2), Chris Stewart, Ryan Reaves and Brett Sterling (all minus-1). The guys at the top end of the scale are Alex Steen at plus-14 (who also leads the team with 17 points), Matt D'Agostini (plus-13), Jason Arnott (plus-10) and Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo at plus-9.
The Blues, friends, are becoming relevant again. It's just a matter of time before you become the expert in the office about the Blues. Time to study up and be ready.