The Blues still sit behind the Dallas Stars in the Central Division, eight points out. While some of this has to do with the Stars being fortunate and functioning with a full, uninjured roster for the season up until this point, some of the blame also has to go to the Blues' inconsistent play and maddening desire to give early Christmas presents to teams like the Flyers.
Of course, then the Blues play the part of the Grinch and snatch two points away from the Boston Bruins in a dominating performance that was reminiscent of the Blues' 3-0 shutout of the Dallas Stars on December 12th. Key in both victories was solid defensive play and the excellent goaltending of Jake Allen. Allen stopped all 32 Bruins shots on net, improving his stats to a 2.06 GAA and a .928 SV%, both good for sixth in the league. He also sits atop the league (though not alone) with five shutouts. Allen blocked 26 shots the last time that the Blues and Stars met, which is impressive considering Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are always huge threats to score.
Benn and Vladimir Tarasenko are in a struggle for the top spot in goal scoring this season. Both have 22, and both have a good chance to leave the game tonight with a few more. Tarasenko is a noted Stars killer and he has a 7 game point streak rolling along. He has a goal against the Stars already this season, and had three goals and two assists against the Stars last year - and six goals in his last 10 games against Dallas.
The Blues game against Boston showed fans and the team what they are capable of doing when they play a full 60 minutes. They'll have their work cut out for them tonight. The Blues have won three straight against Dallas, but with the Stars' third-ranked power play and the Blues' second ranked penalty kill, you have to sense that special teams will be an issue. Something's gotta give, and if the Blues play the Stars like they did earlier this month, it'll be the Stars' power play and goaltending again.