Both the Blues and the Los Angeles Kings have 24 points right now, but to see how this matchup might go, you need to look at the last ten games, not the teams' records. The Blues are 5-4-1 in their last ten games, and their play matches that middling record. They've been average. With the exception of their performance against the Edmonton Oilers, the Blues can't score a goal to save their lives, and with the constant defensive breakdowns and turnovers, you'd think that the Blues would want to lead the league in those and not in points. Their play hasn't been good, and they need to figure things out now.
The Kings have figured it out. They're 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, and last night's drubbing of the Nashville Predators by the score of 5-1 chased Pekka Rinne from net. Jeff Carter netted a hat trick, making his goal total in the last seven games an impressive eight goals. Obviously playing a half-assed defense isn't going to help the Blues. The Kings will exploit every turnover, much like the Dallas Stars did Sunday afternoon. Absolutely everyone is accountable for playing better hockey -- even captain David Backes, who has four points in his last four games, needs to be significantly more defensively responsible.
Remember, David: every time you turn the puck over, a puppy gets dropped off at a shelter. Fix your play, sir.
The penalty kill's getting better, the power play's improving, the Blues are quick to score -- now, if only they could just fix their tendency to be quick to take the foot off of the gas. I'm not sure how many times I've said this, but the team needs to play a full 60 minutes, regardless of what happens on the ice. A goal is waived off? It happens -- bounce back. A penalty is called against you? Ok then. Bounce back. Stay focused, play the way the coach tells you to, and damn well win in front of Jaroslav Halak. Winning a couple games in a row shouldn't be this hard.