The Blues wrap up their final trip of the season with a visit to the Avs.
The Blues have been rolling right along, and a quick look at the standings shows… that they’re still tied with the Minnesota Wild for second in the Central Division.
The Blues are 9-0-1 in their last ten, the Wild are 8-0-2, and the Avalanche have taken their foot off of the gas a bit down the stretch, going 6-4-0. They’re still in first place by seven points and have clinched the division and conference, so why not play out the season?
The Blues could take advantage of the Avalanche’s coasting as they continue to fight for home ice advantage. Do they need home ice? No, clearly not. Would it be nice to start the playoffs at Enterprise Center? Of course. The Blues have scored 14 goals in their last three games, including 6 in a dominant win Sunday night against the Anaheim Ducks. They’ve had some issues closing out games – Arizona’s debacle comes to mind – and that could be evidence that the Blues are a bit guilty of taking their foot off of the gas as well.
The end of the regular season is when good habits are built for the playoffs. The Blues are building great habits offensively, but their defense could use some work. Getting Torey Krug back tonight would go a long way to slapping a Band-Aid on that problem.
Part of the reason the Blues have been able to maintain their 16 game point streak is the quality of their opponents. The Avalanche are going to be a challenge, but as long as Vladimir Tarasenko, Pavel Buchnevich (who scored his 30th goal on Sunday), and Robert Thomas (who is on a 17 game point streak) they stand a good chance to roll right into a 17 game point streak of their own.
The Avs have lost four games in a row, but clearly, that’s no reason for the Blues to sleep on them, and there’s no reason to expect that they will.