The St. Louis Blues enter the final full month of the regular season on a six-game losing streak. Their February schedule was much harder than what they’ll face in March, but they are not playing well, so I don’t think their schedule will determine the results.
Los Angeles Kings – March 4 & 26
The Blues will play the Los Angeles Kings twice this month, both in L.A. The Kings spent three seasons in the drain as a rebuilder and emerged last season to make the playoffs, all while keeping two key pieces of the team: Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty. They’ve taken another step forward this season as well. The Blues should take a page out of the Kings’ playbook for a relatively quick rebuild.
The Blues don’t match up well with the Kings. They are faster with offensive talent throughout their lineup – that was evident when the Blues lost 5-1 to them earlier this season – and they rank seventh in the NHL in goals. The Kings’ big offseason acquisition, Kevin Fiala, has worked out well, with 64 points in 62 games, and the team has seven players with more than 10 goals.
Vegas Golden Knights – March 19
The return of Ivan Barbashev to St. Louis will come on March 19 when the Vegas Golden Knights visit for their final game against the Blues this season. Barbashev was traded to the Golden Knights on Feb. 26 in a one-for-one trade for prospect forward Zach Dean and has one assist in two games with his new team. He has been reunited with former Blues captain and teammate Alex Pietrangelo.
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The Golden Knights have been fantastic in their first season under head coach Bruce Cassidy. Despite injuries to important players, the Golden Knights are 36-19-6 and first in the Pacific Division. They have 11 players with 10 goals or more, and their defense and goaltending have been terrific – Logan Thompson has a save percentage (SV%) of .914, and Adin Hill has a .912 SV%.
The two teams have split the season series. The Blues won the first matchup 3-2 and lost the second 5-4 in a shootout. Vegas is 12-7-5 since beating the Blues on Dec. 23. Injuries have played a role, but they also played above their heads to start the season. Still, the Blues don’t match up well with them.
Detroit Red Wings – March 21 & 23
In March, the Blues will face David Perron for the first time this season. The Detroit Red Wings come to town in the first matchup before they head to Detroit for the second. The Red Wings haven’t made the playoffs since 2015-16 but are now five points out of a wild-card spot behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Perron joined former Blues teammates Oskar Sundqvist, Ville Husso, and Jake Walman when he signed with Detroit in the offseason. After trading Filip Hronek to the Vancouver Canucks and Tyler Bertuzzi to the Boston Bruins, the 2022-23 Red Wings are still one season away from making the playoffs, and their numbers at both ends of the ice aren’t great. They are 23rd in goals scored and 19th in goals against. Larkin, who was recently signed to an eight-year extension – is their only player with 40 or more points.
Other Games for the Blues in March
- Thursday, March 2: at San Jose Sharks, 9:30 PM
- Tuesday, March 7: at Arizona Coyotes, 8 PM
- Thursday, March 9: vs. San Jose Sharks, 7 PM
- Saturday, March 11: at Columbus Blue Jackets, 6 PM
- Wednesday, March 15: vs. Minnesota Wild, 8:30 PM
- Friday, March 17: at Washington Capitals, 6 PM
- Sunday, March 19: vs. Winnipeg Jets, 6 PM
- Saturday, March 25: at Anaheim Ducks, 9:30 PM
- Tuesday, March 28: vs. Vancouver Canucks, 7 PM
- Thursday, March 30: at Chicago Blackhawks, 7:30 PM
Compared to February, this is an easy month for the Blues. However, it’s too late for them to climb back into contention. This will be the make-or-break month for the Blues and their NHL Draft lottery positioning, and they only face four playoff teams this month.