The St. Louis Blues find themselves in the midst of a four-game winless streak and a stretch of (2-3-2) in their last seven games. While they’ve retained their position in the top three of the Central Division, continuing down the road they’re on will greatly hurt their playoff plans.
Perhaps the greatest caveat to St. Louis’ success this season has been their inability to defend leads. Midway through December they surrendered a three-goal lead in the second half of a game against the Philadelphia Flyers and ended up losing the game 4-3.
They had a two-goal lead in a game against the Ottawa Senators on January 4th that evaporated. The Blues were left with only one point at the end of the night on behalf of two unanswered goals in regulation and a sudden death overtime winner by Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan.
They most recently had a 3-1 lead over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, but lost the game in overtime after giving up the tying goal late in the third period.
These are examples from just the last ten games and it’s a trend that St. Louis has to get under control if they hope to retain their playoff position throughout the second half of the season.
Being in one of the more talented divisions in the league isn’t helping their case either. As of right now the Blues hold the third place spot in the division with 54 points, but only have a two-point lead over the Minnesota Wild. They trail the Chicago Blackhawks by two-points and the division-leading Dallas Stars hold a ten-point advantage over the Blues.
With division rivals picking up points on an almost nightly basis, the Blues have to find a way to do the same.
St. Louis could definitely be in a worse position. They’re still in a playoff spot, they are seven-points up on the Nashville Predators in that regard, and they can get back on the right track with solid performances down the line-up.
While it’s great that Vladimir Tarasenko is in a three-way tie for the lead in goals this season, other players within the locker room have to find the back of the net as well. Once as other skaters begin scoring with more consistency their confidence with further improve the overall play of the team.
Midseason is a difficult time during the long 82 game year for every team, but the Blues will have to overcome adversity and learn how to better protect their early game offensive production to maintain or improve upon their place in the standings.
Allison Scott is currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Missouri. She is passionate about the NHL and is a fan of both the St. Louis Blues and her hometown Dallas Stars. More articles by Allison can be found on Blackout Dallas where she covers the Stars. Follow Allison on twitter for more hockey and random tweets! @allisonnnscott