I'm not sure if the last two weeks were the equivalent of Spring Break or the offseason or what, but it sure seems like it's been a long time since we've seen some Blues hockey up in here. Enough with the Eurotrash, let's keep it North American, shall we?
So in case you crawled under a rock and ignored the Blues and our little Web site the last two weeks (and judging by Sitemeter, you may have!), let's cover where the Blues are, what happened over the break to the team and what's on tap this week.
First of all, the Blues are on probably their longest three-game winning streak in team history by number of days. In their last game before the break the Blues played a spirited game against Washington and gave Alexander Ovechkin his first of many disappointments over the last two weeks in a 4-3 shootout win for the Blues. Combine that with a 4-0 drubbing of the Maple Leafs and a 4-3 shootout win over Detroit, the Blues haven't lost since Feb. 8. That sounds fucking awesome, but it's still only three games.
In the win over the Capitals, you might remember a particularly vicious hit by Cam Janssen on Matt Bradley. He got a five minute major interference penalty (I didn't know those existed) and a game misconduct. And now he's suspended for the next five games after the NHL Wheel of Justice spun against him. And in case you haven't looked at the schedule, there are only 20 games left this season. Doing some quick math, five games is a quarter of the remaining season. That sucks.
You know what else sucks? Keith Tkachuk just had surgery on one of his pinkies. It was announced on Friday, Feb. 26 with the team saying he's expected to miss about 10 days. That could translate to about three games, all on the road.
The Blues return to action Tuesday night in Phoenix. It will be the first of a six-game road trip, the team's longest of the season. Combine that with just one home game and two more on the road and eight of their next nine games are away from St. Louis. Including the Olympic break, the Blues will go from Feb. 13 to March 16 without playing a home game. I hope we remember how to put together the Game Time paper edition. Damn.
So after the Blues play one stinking game they have to decide what they're doing at the NHL trade deadline which is Wednesday. While we've argued that Paul Kariya would benefit playing for a new team, it's kind of doubtful the diminutive forward has too many suitors. Of course Tkachuk and a handful of other players are due to hit unrestricted free agency this summer which usually mean's time could be short for a few guys. Of course last year they held onto Tkachuk and they made the playoffs. Speaking of the playoffs...
If you look at the standings (don't, it's kind of depressing), the Blues are four points out of the last playoff spot. That's the "good" news. The bad news is that the Blues have to beat out not only the eighth place team, Calgary, but also three other teams ahead of them in the standings. It's not going to be easy these last 20 games.
So that's it. Of course there is the matter of that little tournament up in Vancouver that Roman Polak, David Backes and Erik Johnson played in the last two weeks. You may have heard about it. Backes and EJ played their guts out Sunday, saw the gold medal game go to overtime and then ended up with the silver. Fun game, disappointing outcome.
Now you're caught up.