There was a lot to like in yesterday’s 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, like Jordan Binnington’s first career shutout in his first career start, or Vladimir Tarasenko’s absolute snipe of a goal.
But on the other hand, the Flyers are now 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and have fewer points than the Blues. And the Blues this season have been unfailingly abysmal after a win. These are the scores from just December:
6-1 loss to Arizona after a 3-2 OT win against Colorado
6-1 loss to Vancouver after a 1-0 win against Winnipeg
7-2 loss to Calgary after a 4-3 overtime win against Colorado
5-1 loss to Vancouver after a 4-1 win against Edmonton
6-1 loss to Pittsburgh after a 4-1 win against Buffalo
Only two of those losses - against Arizona and the 5-1 loss to the Canucks - were on the road. In December, after a victory, the Blues have been outscored 19-4 at home.
So forgive fans for treating tonight’s game with some trepidation. Alexander Steen is out with another upper body injury (read: probable concussion from a Radko Gudas shoulder to the head), and Sammy Blais has been recalled from San Antonio to take his place tonight if needed. Tyler Bozak will also be absent from the lineup tonight, meaning that Pat Maroon won’t be benched for his Big Rig bobblehead night. At least one potential awkward situation has been diffused.
The Stars had Monday night off, but they were pummeled by the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. After an early goal by Alexander Radulov, the Jets potted five unanswered goals. Dallas sits in the top wildcard spot for the West, because even with the loss the Jets have won six of their last ten and have points in seven. They also have scored two goals or fewer in eight of those games, which means that their defense has generally been tight - Sunday was a recent aberration.
The Blues have played the Stars well in recent seasons, and a win tonight at home could be the start of something good.