I write opinionated sports articles, and try to stay away from bashing you over the head with advanced metrics and statistics that will make you switch from beer to bleach as quickly as you click out of the article. I’ll leave that tactic to other more gifted math wizards or people who simply deal with headaches better. What I will tell you tonight is based on history; a past that can span 50 years or 5 weeks.
While the Blues shutting out the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators this week in back to back contests is swell, I will warn you against pouring a large glass of Hawaiian Punch and saying the struggle is over. Have you seen Game of Thrones? When Jon Snow wins a battle, he looks more depressed than if he had won. The idea is simple. Stay seated, and see how the road trip progresses.
This is where you tell me to piss off, and enjoy the good times. That’s fine, because I am. When the Blues notched a 6-0 win over the Senators Tuesday night, I tweeted out a need to enjoy the win without jumping to conclusions about the next week or month. As hard as it can be throughout a sports season, staying seated and wise are key attributes to survival. The Blues have won three of four games under new head coach Mike Yeo.
The only loss came when Sidney Crosby flew into St. Louis last Saturday like Liam Neeson would in a Taken sequel. The Blues shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins at home, and the truth is no one puts Sidney in a corner twice. Crosby scored from a knee, looked deadly doing it, and the Pens routed the Blues. Outside of that assault on 14th and Clark, the Blues have dominated the action.
They beat a pesky Toronto Maple Leaf team 5-1 at Scottrade, and Jake Allen was brilliant. The Snake was calm, cool, and collected in net, and that gave some balance to the scoring energy of this team. The Blues shut out a Flyers team that plays very well at home, with Carter Hutton in net. Instead of staying with the backup, Yeo went back to Allen(the shutout earns another start rule is tired), and the result was the same. A shutout, with no second chances or clear cut scoring looks coming from the Senators. Consistency was found, but how long can it be attained? Take a swig of whiskey first.
*Ivan Barbashev(don’t call him Barbie) and Kenny “I may have played De Niro’s son in A Bronx Tale” Agostino have arrived, and said what up to Blues nation. Agostino is a shot taking machine, and Barbashev looks better every game. Get these kids 13-15 minutes per game, and see how far they take you.
*Both goalies are now over .900 in save percentage. Progress.
*Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera were separated. Suddenly, Tarasenko scored a few goals. Weird, right?
*Alex Steen woke up in a big way.
*Anyone still complaining about Paul Stastny scoring?
*The goaltending won’t be this good for long. Allen and Hutton didn’t just take a sip of Roy mojo, and slip into a lawn chair in net. They will struggle. Allen’s positioning is still not as consistent as it needs to be, and Carter is...a backup so don’t get your hopes up.
*Jaden Schwartz is about to be placed on a milk carton, and it’s not even funny. Him and Robby Fabbri were goal scoring ghosts for most of January, and that has continued with Schwartz in February. He has one goal since December 20th. Lehtera can do better than that.
*Nail Yakupov has gotten in games, but stopped scoring. Six points, -6 +/-, and 10 penalty minutes makes me a dull observer.
*Kevin Shattenkirk will not be a Blue on March 1st. You can’t hold onto a guy after a couple solid wins, and value needs to collected. I still expect Shatty to be dealt, and that’s not a pretty idea.
*Hey Yeo, just shave the entire dome.
Here’s what I need to see in order to instill more hope in this Blues team. I want wins in Toronto and Detroit. Montreal would be nice, but they are a tough team at home. They are 18-6-4, and carry 68 points on the season. I’ll take two of three to finish this roadie.
The Nashville Predators aren’t slowing down, and the wildcard competition will remain fierce for the next month. The trade deadline is a couple weeks away, and the Blues are hanging onto a wildcard berth at the moment. They have answered my prayers and gotten a little better. Now the question is simple: how much better can they get?
Until they show some true consistency(four wins in a row maybe?), stay seated.