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Avalanche at Blues Preview: The schedule just got harder

The Blues are playing how many games in how many nights to close out the season?

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL released some schedule changes on Wednesday, and somehow an already jam packed Blues schedule got even more jam packed.

Between tonight, April 22nd, and the last day of the season on May 13th, the Blues will be playing 13 games. That’s 13 games in 22 nights, with three back to backs. Thirteen games to catch up in the playoff race.

The Blues have thirteen games to get over the hump and make up for the team’s 3-2 loss on Saturday night against Arizona that saw them fall out of the West Division’s last playoff spot. Luckily, the Minnesota Wild took out the Coyotes on Monday and Wednesday nights, so the Blues still sit just one point behind Arizona and have four games in hand on them. If there ever were a time to point out that the Blues are the master of their own fates, it’s now.

One way for the Blues to stay master of their own fate is to actually master how to play in the second period. The Blues have been atrocious in the second almost to the point that you can set your watch to exactly when they’ll start taking their foot off of the gas. In order to remind the Blues what it feels like to get your foot on the long pedal and press down, the coaching staff bag skated the heck out of them during Monday’s practice:

Whether or not that lesson will stick tonight is a completely different matter. If the Blues keep on the gas and don’t coast through the second period, they’re one of the toughest teams in the league to beat - even if the team looking to beat them is the Avalanche. Quite frankly, if the Blues want to have playoff success, the team that they need to practice this strategy on is Colorado. Barring an implosion, the Avalanche seem to be the favorites to finish first in the West, and the Blues will more than likely sneak in at number four. Getting to round two means going through Denver.

The Blues have won one game against Colorado all year. Tonight’s as good as any night to win number two.