Sports, like life, just keeps moving. It goes on and on. No matter what happens in one game, the next game is going to be waiting around the corner like the next storm system in the spring. Death, taxes, and sports.
Or maybe, it's death, taxes, and Blues hockey.
The experience of watching the St. Louis rogues in blue can be a taxing exercise without revenue for the soul. What teams strive for is consistency, because with consistency, that team can find an identity. That is where winning begins. Right? The Blues have no identity this year, but they have 77 points at this moment, and are in the thick of the playoff race against all odds.
Fire the head coach-check.
Lose a valuable winger-check.
Trade a top defenseman-check.
But the kids are still alright, so what's next?
Louie and The Towel Guy run off together? Unfortunately not.
Before the puck is dropped tonight against the San Jose Sharks, the Blues have ran the gauntlet the past month. They won six games in a row, and then lost five in a row with a scoring output of just over a goal per game, but they rebounded with five straight victories before last night's defeat in Anaheim.
As you take a sip of whiskey, know that if the playoffs started today, the Blues would be in the tournament for Lord's Stanley Cup. The Blues are very consistent-if consistency means driving a fan base bonkers.
The fact that people are surprised by this style of play is mind-boggling. Where have you been all these decades? For the past 50 years, the Blues have been consistent playoff participants, but rarely get that deep into the action. They are the kid that shows up to the party in the tuxedo bought with his life savings, promptly gets his ass kicked, and tossed out on the lawn.
It's nauseating to think that the Blues haven't played in a Stanley Cup during my lifetime, and it's no guarantee they will before I die. If that sounds darkly absolute, let me introduce you to the Blues again. They are perennial heartbreakers.
If the Blues were a movie, it would be a combination of Fast and Furious and Manchester By the Sea. A dramatic storyline laced with impossible actions where the main character is sad most of the team yet remains riveting to watch, but everything is going so fast that the fans feel like warm pavement on a race track.
The greatest trick a sports team ever pulled was convincing their fan base that anything is possible-even a championship. The Blues do this every single year. The old adage still plays: "just get in and see what happens." When you couple that saying with "maybe next year", things can become toxic.
Here's what the fans can do now: enjoy the fucking hockey. Settle in and simply enjoy the action. The Blues still own the spotlight for another month before the Cardinals return. For now, the Blues have the floor and can paint their own future. If they don't make the playoffs, it will be a classic trip over their own feet.
Of the remaining 13 games, nine of them are against teams with a losing record, and yes I'm scrapping the wimpy overtime loss column. The Blues play the two worst teams in the NHL-The Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes-a combined five times. Ten crucial points to pick up against two truly shitty teams.
The Jets are losers overall, yet play like the Blackhawks against the Blues, but the Canucks and Hurricanes should be handled, right? Beating the Jets and Canucks would throw the final shovel full of dirt on those teams playoff hopes.
Can the Blues take advantage? Can they seize consistency and sustain a winning streak? Or will they sink back to the dim waters of mediocrity? Easier answers are found on Real Housewives reality television programs where collagen is handed out like candy.
I'll tell you this much: 91 points should get a team into the playoffs this season. If the Blues can win seven of their remaining games, and that is a must, then they end up with 91 points. "If" is a part of the Blues DNA. It's part of the DNA of any sports team. If you do this, then this could happen. The Blues wear that theory out like a belt that gets dragged through high school and college.
The truth is identity doesn't matter at this point. You just need to fucking win as many games as possible. Win 2-1 on a chip in goal while losing the battle on the dot and spending too much time in the box. Win big. Win small. Just win.
I can't tell you what's going to happen. I can tell you the Blues will drive you insane, and they won't go away. They are an insane addiction. A circus with multiple acts and climaxes.
13 games left. Be ready for anything.