Tonight the Blues walk into the Pepsi Center for the last time this season and with a win or an overtime loss will secure a Stanley Cup playoff birth for the sixth straight year. How perfect would it be for the Blues to clinch another trip to the playoffs against a Stan Kroenke team that represents the worst the NHL has to offer.
The Blues are currently 11-1-1 in their last 13 games despite possessing, at best, some middle of the road analytics. But at this point in the season you are what you are so I’m not going to bother wasting a lot of energy talking about it.
Yes, the Blues are not a strong possession team but their goaltending has been more than capable of bailing the team out when they have gotten stuck in their own zone.
Yes, the have one of the lowest goal differentials of any team currently holding a playoff spot. However, the last third of the season has seen a drastic improvement in this area.
Sure, their third line center has the second most goals on the team but one of the keys to the Blues success lately has been getting goals from secondary players. Not to mention one of the best fourth lines in the NHL.
Patrik Berglund’s twenty-two goals are the most he has scored in a single season since entering the NHL in 2008.
David Perron scored his 100th goal as a Blue Wednesday night and is turning out to be a very reliable net front presence on a team that is rather lacking in that department.
Jaden Schwartz is in the middle of a five game point streak and has recently broken his scoring drought with four goals in five games.
Jake Allen is 8-1-1 for the month of March and has a .951 save percentage with a 1.39 goals against average.
However, the most impressive group to me has been the success of the Blues less experienced players who have had to step up due to injuries to some of the Blues veteran players.
Magnus Paajarvi’s eight goals are the most he has had in a single season with the Blues. Ivan Barbashev has looked rather impressive during his first trip to the NHL and has displayed the playmaking ability and defensive responsibility needed to keep his spot in the lineup. Zach Sanford is making Doug Armstrong look like a somewhat competent general manager and believe me, that is a lot easier said than done. Nail Yakupov is super, duper fast.
As of right now, the Blues are in control of their own destiny and that is a perfectly acceptable place to be. Yes it would be nice if the Blues could manage to hold on to third place or even by some miracle move up to second in order to gain home ice advantage in the first round but I am not going to split hairs.
Right now making the playoffs are the main objective and the Blues are just one point away from completing their mission. Tonight would be as good of night as any.
Lets Go Blues!