Blues’ Must-Watch Games In December

The St. Louis Blues begin December with a road game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but we’ll look past that game to peek into the rest of this month’s games. There are a lot of quality games coming up, and the Blues will look to bounce back from a mediocre 6-6-3 record from November.

The Blues must weather the storm of more COVID issues. But they’ve been working through that all season, so there isn’t a reason they can’t continue to get through it.

Florida Panthers – Dec. 4 & Dec. 7

Following their game with the Lightning, they will stay in the state of Florida and battle the Florida Panthers for a game. After that, they will head home and play them again. This is notable because the Panthers own one of the best records in the league at 15-4-3. The Blues haven’t played the Panthers since March of 2020, where the Panthers beat them 2-1.

Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

These two teams have split their last six games going back to the 2016-17 season. The Blues have a big test in front of them with these two games, especially since they will likely be without goaltender Jordan Binnington, who is on the COVID-19 list.

The Panthers have their share of injuries as well, including their captain Aleksander Barkov, who is considered “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury. They still have a great lineup led by Jonathan Huberdeau, who has 23 points in 22 games. So this home and home series should feature some great hockey.

Montreal Canadiens – Dec. 11

It’s always exciting to have an original six team on the schedule, and the Blues have two of them on this list. The Montreal Canadiens made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season but have stumbled this season, leading to the firing of general manager (GM) Marc Bergevin.

They have posted a record of 6-16-2, which is among the worst in the NHL. This could be the return of goaltender Jake Allen to St. Louis, as he was dealt to the Canadiens prior to the 2020-21 season and is now the starter for Montreal with Carey Price missing time. Allen spent seven seasons with the Blues, including being the backup to Binnington during the 2019 Cup run. The Canadiens also have Mike Hoffman, who spent last season in St. Louis, but he is currently dealing with an undisclosed injury and is on injured reserve.

Either way, a Saturday night game in St. Louis with the Blues wearing their classic heritage jersey versus an original six team with a fantastic history will be fantastic to watch.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Dec. 23

The biggest market in the sport has a team playing incredibly well right now, as the team with the most points in the league right now is the Toronto Maple Leafs. On the eve of Christmas Eve, the Blues will be in Toronto to play them. This will be a special game to watch, as the final game before Christmas is always fun to watch. The Blues’ last pre-Christmas game was a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in 2019.

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Leafs are 17-6-1 and have 35 points this season. A lot of those have come in their last 17 games, as they have won 15 of them. They are the hottest team in the league, so the Blues will hope that they cool down as December rolls on. The last matchup between these two was a 5-2 win for the Leafs, but prior to that, the Blues had won 11 of 13 against them, including seven straight.

The Blues’ defensive unit will be in for a big test when they face the Leafs’ elite top-six forward group, where they have double-digit goals from Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and William Nylander. This will be a great game to watch and should have a packed house at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Edmonton Oilers – Dec. 29

The final to highlight on this list is the second matchup of the season for the Blues against the vaunted Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are 16-5-0 and are among the best teams in the league, with a point total of 32. Even with the number of injuries that they’ve had, they have been able to overcome them; it certainly helps that Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have 41 and 40 points in 21 games.

Those two are the best duo in the NHL, and it’s not debatable right now; they have been dominant this season. The Blues gave up a late goal in their November meeting, losing that one 4-3. Draisaitl had three points in that game, while McDavid had two; it’s hard to keep them in check for a full 60 minutes.

The Blues will get another crack at them. This game is at home, as was the first one, and this one will close out the calendar year of 2021 for St. Louis.

Other Notable Games in December

The Blues will get a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 9 in St. Louis, which is notable since they lost their previous meeting with them. They will also play a home and home with the Dallas Stars on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, another matchup with a team that beat them in November. This will be a fun month of games, and the Blues must stay afloat despite all of their absent players.

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