Blues’ Must Watch Games in December 2022

The St. Louis Blues have a difficult road ahead in the month of December. They play 15 games against 11 teams that are currently in a playoff spot. With the Blues having a record of 11-11-0, they’ll need to play up to their competition this month. This month’s schedule is harder than the difficult November schedule they had.

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I tried to narrow down the must-watch games to the best opponents of this month, but divisional opponent consideration matters too. The bottom line is that December is make-or-break for the Blues in 2022-23, so if it doesn’t go well, they are done.

Carolina Hurricanes – Dec. 1

The first game of the month is a home game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are third in the Metropolitan Division with a 12-6-5 record and two straight wins heading into this game. They’ve struggled to score goals this season, ranking 24th in the NHL overall. That doesn’t change the fact that this team is good defensively and still has offensive firepower.

Martin Necas Carolina Hurricanes
Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Blues have lost two straight to the Hurricanes but were 5-2 against them from 2016-17 to 2019-20. The Hurricanes have elite talent, but injuries have held them back from being one of the league’s best teams through two months this season. It’s been a huge breakout season for forward Martin Necas, who leads the Hurricanes with 25 points in 23 games. Outside of that, they have elite forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho, they’re the other two players with more than 20 points on this team.

I expect the Blues to be sharper and more energetic in this game coming off of a sluggish loss to the Dallas Stars in the game prior. The Hurricanes are a tough opponent, especially with their elite defensive unit. This should be a great game to watch.

Edmonton Oilers – Dec. 15

Every time the Blues play Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, it’s a must-watch game. That’s one of my constant rules in the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers are a must-watch team. It’s been an up-and-down season for them in 2022-23, but they’re currently in a playoff spot at 13-10-0. This is the third matchup against the Oilers for the Blues this season, they are 1-1-0 overall. Since 2018-19, the Blues are 6-3-2 against the Oilers with a four-game winning streak mixed in there.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

McDavid is tearing the league apart this season with 41 points in 23 games. Their three players with over 20 points are Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman. I don’t think they are getting enough production outside of their stars. They could miss the playoffs if that continues, but getting Evander Kane back eventually could be huge. The Blues’ defense could struggle in this matchup, but they’ve proven they can stop the Oilers before.

Vegas Golden Knights – Dec. 23

It’s the second matchup of the season between the Blues and the Vegas Golden Knights. The first one was in November, and it resulted in a 3-2 victory for the Blues in Vegas. The Golden Knights have remained one of the best teams in the league since that matchup. Overall, they have a record of 17-6-1 for 35 points and rank first in their division. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has done a brilliant job in his first season in Sin City.

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They’re seventh in the NHL in goals scored and eighth in goals against. Their goaltender Logan Thomspon has had a terrific season with a save percentage (SV%) of .921 and a 12-4-0 record. They are one of the most balanced scoring teams in the league, as they have 10 players with double-digit points. They will be a tough opponent for the Blues right before Christmas, the Blues need to send themselves into the holiday break with a win.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Dec. 27

After Christmas, the Blues will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time this season. The Leafs have had a good season to this point with a 15-5-5 record overall, ranking fourth in the league with 35 points. They have not gotten elite goal-scoring production from Auston Matthews yet, but they have a great record anyway. The Blues had won 11 of 13 against the Leafs heading into the 2019-20 season, but they are 1-2-0 since then. They beat the Maple Leafs 6-3 on the road in their last matchup, which was in February last season.

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

I think the Blues can hang with the Maple Leafs, but they have to be more physical. The Leafs are a team that the Blues should be able to push around. They have a lot of skill upfront, but they still lack the size and physicality that they’ve desired for years. Another key factor in this matchup will be the faceoff circle, where the Maple Leafs have some elite centers. John Tavares, Matthews, and David Kampf are all 50 percent or above. The Blues can match that with Ryan O’Reilly and Robert Thomas. These are always fun matchups to watch, but the Blues need to defend their home ice in this game.

They haven’t beaten the Leafs in St. Louis since February 2019, when they extended their winning streak to 11 games. That was a magical time in Blues hockey, as it led to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. This should be a tremendous matchup to watch as the Blues try to keep their season afloat.

Blues’ Other Games in December

  • Saturday, Dec. 3: at Pittsburgh Penguins, 6 PM
  • Monday, Dec. 5: at New York Rangers, 6 PM
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6: at New York Islanders, 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, Dec. 8: vs. Winnipeg Jets, 7 PM
  • Sunday, Dec. 11: vs. Colorado Avalanche, 2 PM
  • Monday, Dec. 12: vs. Nashville Predators, 7 PM
  • Friday, Dec. 16: at Calgary Flames, 8 PM
  • Monday, Dec. 19: at Vancouver Canucks, 9:30 PM
  • Tuesday, Dec. 20: at Seattle Kraken, 9 PM
  • Thursday, Dec. 29: vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 7 PM
  • Saturday, Dec. 31: vs. Minnesota Wild, 5 PM

There are more must-watch games in December outside of what I picked. They have huge divisional opponents and trips to Western Canada and New York. I think the Blues can do well this month, but they’ll need to find more consistency. They play 15 games total, so I think if they can go 9-4-2, that would be ideal. That would get their record to 20-15-2, putting them in a good spot heading into the New Year. This is a huge stretch for the Blues, it’ll be interesting to see if they’re up for it.

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