When it comes to the St. Louis Blues, you simply never can tell. You are right. The Pulp Fiction dance sequence with John Travolta and Uma Thurman comes to mind with this hockey team.
After getting brutally assaulted by the Calgary Flames on Sunday afternoon at the Enterprise Center, the Blues walked into Edmonton against old friend Ken Hitchcock and a hot Oilers team...and kicked their ass.
If there is a more maddening team in pro sports, please locate them for me while I sit here and stare at the Rogues in Blue and White. As Justin The Recap Master eloquently put it in Sunday’s recap, nothing else matters when it comes to determining the trajectory of this team and that everyone should eat Arby’s afterwards.
The odds makers in Vegas more than likely were betting heavy on Edmonton slapping the Blues around like one-legged mannequins, but the Blues came out swinging.
After an infuriating too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty (St. Louis’ 10th on the season) served by David Perron, the Frenchman scored to put the Blues up a little over eight minutes into the game, netting his 11th (what?!) goal on the season.
Edmonton tied it in the second period, which saw the Oilers even out the shots on goal and pick up their pace of play. There were a lot of giveaways and missed shots in the middle period, two teams desperately trying to get the upper hand. The tilt would occur in the third period.
The Blues jumped out to a 2-1 lead just a little over two minutes into the period, with Robert Thomas making a hard push to net that was required a video review. The NHL did their best to stop the good times from rolling, but in the end, the Blues had the lead and Pat Maroon had his first goal since Thanksgiving weekend. Pour a PBR out for Oakville while I continue.
About nine minutes later, Vladimir Tarasenko took a pass and sniped it over Cam Talbot for the Blues’ third goal of the game. It was Tarasenko’s tenth on the season and first in eight games. Let’s put it this way...Tarasenko hadn’t scored in December yet and Perron still has more goals. Let’s hope it lights a fire under the Russian, who was playing with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn last night.
Important thing to remember with Tarasenko: the goal was his sixth power play goal of the season, which matches his total from last season. Just saying. Get hot, #91.
Schwartz’s empty netter sealed the deal with a couple minutes to go, nailing down the 13th win of the season for the Blues, bringing their overall record to 13-15-4 and sending their fans into a quiet celebration that would end in a pensive, alcohol-induced train of thought.
The Blues also stopped Connor McDavid’s point streak at nine games, allowing Captain Fantastic just a single shot on goal all night.
Who are these guys? They play extremely well against a hot Colorado team on Friday, and then look feeble against a hot Calgary team on Sunday. Tuesday, they blast out of the gate and take care of business on the road in Edmonton. Vancouver awaits. Good luck making the odds on this one.
Since it’s on the road, there’s a good chance Jake Allen will be solid. He’s been unbeatable lately away from Enterprise, where he probably hears more jeers than cheers from his hometown. Whatever it is, Shaky Jake is nails on the road, and the Blues will need him to be solid on Thursday.
You can’t find this on WAR on ICE or Hockey Reference, but when the team comes out scoring and Allen makes a few stops, there’s a healthy chance of victory for St. Louis. Who knows? It’s science.
Here’s the thing. It’s still a long shot for this team to make the playoffs. Their inconsistency plagues real hope in a sustainable run, so it’s hard to buy into a streak just yet. But the Blues have one of the smallest amounts of games played in the Western Conference right now. They have a few games in hand over teams ahead of them.
So I’m saying there is a chance. That’s all.
No one knows what’s coming on Thursday, but I’d still watch.