Aside from rooting hard for the Note year in and year out, Blues fans root for the Detroit Red Wings to lose (like people don't already know this). We don't care if it's in a charity golf tournament, beer pong, a hot dog eating contest, a pre-season game, old-timers event, or the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wings will go down and they will go down hard...that is, if Blues fans have anything to say about it. And it's really not even enough for them to go down hard. Blues fans would prefer Detroit get humiliated, embarrassed and suffer multiple injuries while losing in grand fashion on a national stage.
The Blues may have fallen short in their bid to make the playoffs, but the annual LetsGoBlues.com Playoff Challenge for 2010 is underway!
Woo hoo! (Well, I'd rather the Blues be in the playoffs too...but what can you do?)
If you are new to the format, after the round one entries are received, we split the entries up into groups based on their forum post count...and we usually have a celebrity team and take the picks from ESPN or TSN and put them on a team to see how we compare against them.
Each participant picks the winner of each matchup and also picks the number of games they think each matchup will go. Picking the correct winner gets you two points. If you pick the correct winner, you have a shot at a bonus point by picking the correct number of games the series will go.
There will be a team prize and individual prize. Winners will receive bragging rights and a trophy signature to place in your forum signature spot.
In the past, we've had people participate from all over the world and everyone has a good time.
If you would like to participate, click on the Round 1 link to the right, fill out the form and watch some playoff hockey!
This was the biggest game of the season for the Blues, and boy did they come to play. St. Louis scored early and scored often, King destroyed Barch in an early fight, Marty Turco was rudely chased from the net early in the 2nd period shortly after the Stars franchise had honored him for playing in his 500th game on Tuesday, and the Blues added a couple more goals on Lehtinen for good measure en route to a 6-1 drubbing of the Stars, and jumping over them in the standings in the process...all on their home ice. Did we kick their dog while we were there too? (Where are you Cam Neely?)
Fresh off of the two-week Olympic break (not really a break for David Backes, Erik Johnson and Roman Polak though) the Blues started their march down the home stretch with a trip to Phoenix to play the Coyotes.
The Blues, winners of three straight impressive victories before the break, were looking to continue their fine play and hope the time off didn't effect the roll they were on, which is what teams always talk about being afraid of when playing well heading into a long break of any kind.
The last game for St. Louis before the olympic break was at home against the Washington Capitals. The Blues own the worst home record in the NHL and the Washington Capitals, in my opinion, are without a doubt the best team in the NHL and they have the NHL's best player in Alexander Ovechkin. Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of optimism from Blues fans about winning this game.
But this was a must win game for St. Louis. They are trying to crawl back into the playoffs, and with some help could get within two points of 8th place.
The Blues held Ovechkin in check and may have played their best home game all season as they beat Washington 4-3 in a barnburner that went to a shootout which had to go 5 rounds before a goal was scored. Perron got the winner in the shootout on a nifty backhander off of the post, then off of Theodore and in.
Berglund played a heck of a game. It may have been the best game I have seen him play. He needs to keep doing this EVERY GAME. Nice job.
This is the third win in a row for St. Louis (all home games no less), but they still remain 4 pts. out of a playoff spot with Calgary's victory over Anaheim.
Right now, the Blues are 100% in the hunt for that last playoff spot and any talk of making the playoffs should not be greeted with criticism as the playoffs are currently a very real possibility if they continue to play good hockey. Now sure, after the NHL resumes it's season on March 1st, the Blues could very easily slip back out of contention with a couple losses, so every game is key. They cannot afford to go on any losing streaks, nor can they afford to be going to overtime every other game against teams they are trying to catch.
Do I think the Blues can make the playoffs? Absolutely. Do I think they will make the playoffs? The optimist in me says yes, but it's a little more than just optimism and I'll explain why.
Everyone knows to win in this league you need good goaltending and the Blues have goaltending that is good enough to win on most nights. If you combine the good goaltending with solid defensive play, then you're talking. St. Louis' defense has been pretty good all year long.
The real issue with this team is the offense, both 5 on 5 and on the power play. It has been horrendous this season...until recently that is. During their current three game win streak, they have scored 4 goals in each game. If you score four goals in the NHL, chances are you are going to win the game, and the Blues are proving that right now. IF, the newfound surge on offense can maintain a 3 or 4 goal average to close out the season, the Blues will make the playoffs. There is no doubt in my mind. The only thing that would throw a wrench into that statement is if the Blues trade away some talent at the deadline. Then all bets are off on the playoffs...it would be a wait and see kind of thing. But, then again, trading away certain players could be an addition by subtraction. I won't mention any names, but his initials are Eric Brewer.
- Is the offense slowly, finally, coming around?
- Will the goaltending come up big in big games down the home stretch?
- Can the Blues play just a little better than Anaheim, Calgary, Detroit and Dallas and/or maybe Nashville down the stretch?
The answer to these questions and more, in this episode of...SOAP.
Seriously though, the answer to all of those questions needs to be yes, or the Blues miss out on the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Can they pull it off? Yes. Will they pull it off? Most definitely...maybe.
Until the season resumes, enjoy olympic hockey everyone...I know I will.
USA! USA! USA!