With the league’s spate of postponements wrapping up, at least in the West Division, things are returning to normal. The schedule shifting that saw the Blues play the Arizona Coyotes seven games in a row hopefully won’t be a necessity in the future.
Right now, the series has been a see-saw. The Blues handily took game one, fought but came up short for games two through four, and held on for games five and six. As frustrating as the Blues’ play has been, it’s important to keep in mind that they’ve gotten seven out of 12 points so far even without Marco Scandella, Tyler Bozak, Sammy Blais, Robert Thomas, and now Jaden Schwartz. Lines have had to be adjusted, defensive pairings have had to be tweaked.
The Blues haven’t looked perfect since this series began on February 2nd, and during some stretches of play have looked downright disinterested. Coach Craig Berube had some come to Jesus meetings with Jordan Kyrou and Ivan Barbashev (subscription required) that, coupled with assignments that necessitated increased responsibility, re-ignited their play Saturday evening.
The Blues relied on the will of their newest addition, forward Mike Hoffman, to win on Saturday. Hoffman set up Kyrou’s game tying goal in the third period, and netted the overtime winner. Hopefully this afternoon’s game won’t require any heroics, and can be a clear cut win so the Blues can focus on a team other than Arizona for a little while.