There must be something special in that Western Conference water, because the 21st Weekly Lost & Found edition, as the past few, will be staying in the West. We’re sticking with two teams again, both in the fight for the Central Division.
Despite a good-looking record over their past 10 games, the St. Louis Blues have struggled this past week. Meanwhile to the south, the Dallas Stars, who’ve been very inconsistent this season, find themselves on a league-best four-game winning streak. Let’s take a look at where these two squads have been trending.
Lost: St. Louis Blues Struggle Through Tri-State Area
The tri-state area has not been kind to the Blues this past week. They started the week by shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks before dropping three straight to Metropolitan Division teams. They lost to the New York Rangers and New York Islanders in regulation before falling to the New Jersey Devils in overtime, giving them a 1-3 record this past week.
Their last 10 games look good on paper, a 6-2-2 record. However, between their failed comeback against the Rangers, and dropping games to the struggling Islanders and Devils, there is cause for concern. While they broke even in goal differential this past week, in their three losses they were outscored 10-6.
Their power play has struggled in limited opportunities, scoring a lone goal in nine attempts. The Blues have one of the league’s best power plays, so they should be fine in the long run. They have killed 11-of-13 power-play opportunities against, which is also on brand, as their penalty kill is also one of the league’s best.
The Blues have a very offensively deep team. They have eight players with at least 12 goals, led by Jordan Kyrou’s 22 goals. He also leads the team in points with 53 in 51 games, all with just 12 penalty minutes. The team has 11 players with at least 25 points this season, two being defensemen.
They’ve seen five different goaltenders take the ice this season, led by a near 50-50 split of Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso. Binnington’s numbers on the year haven’t been the best, but he has a .960 save percentage (SV%) over his past two games. Husso has allowed seven goals in his past two, on 61 shots. The Blues allow over 31 shots-against per game.
Related: Blues’ Goaltending Future is Bright
The Blues have an interesting and busy week ahead. They’ll play four games, taking on Ottawa, the Rangers again, Nashville and Winnipeg. It won’t be the easiest week, but they have a good opportunity to turn things around against the pesky and physical Senators.
They have a bit of a cushion in their division, but several teams are hot on their heels, including Nashville. It’ll be an important game for them as they look to keep their lead and spot in the division’s top-three.
Found: Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson Lead the Way for Dallas Stars Success
Every Stars win on their four-game winning streak came this past week, and they’ve won seven of their past 10 games. In those four games, they have a plus-seven goal differential, having scored 18 goals while allowing 11. They scored at least four goals in each game over that span and never allowed more than three, capped off by a 6-3 victory over Minnesota to tie for third in the Central Division.
Their power play has been relatively what you could expect over those four games, given that they’re a top-10 power-play team, they scored four times on 14 chances. The penalty kill has struggled during the season, and is in the lower half of the league, but similarly to St. Louis, they killed 11-of-13 chances against.
How about All-Star Joe Pavelski drinking from the fountain of youth? The 37-year-old is having a fantastic year, and scored a goal and five points over his past four games. He leads the team with 37 assists and 59 points in 55 games. Their top-five scorers are all above 30 points this season, and have scored at least 14 goals.
Jason Robertson is the youngest of the team-led quintet and leads the team with 29 goals in 47 games, a career-high, following up his breakout rookie season in style. He has scored back-to-back hat tricks, and has seven goals this week, is that good?
Goaltending has been generally split between Jake Oettinger and Braden Holtby this season, with Anton Khudobin seeing nine games. The former two have combined for a 2.54 goals-against average (GAA) and .918 SV%, both respectable numbers, and a lone shutout.
The Stars only have two games this week. The first is an important divisional matchup with in “The Music City” to take on the Predators, before returning home to welcome the Rangers to town. Being that the Stars and Preds are the two wild card teams in the Western Conference, it’ll be an important two games for them.
Jason Robertson has scored almost as many goals as the Blues have this week. With that 29 on the season it looks like his goal-scoring touch is here to stay, and if that’s the case, then the Stars could keep rolling. Meanwhile, the Blues will have a more challenging week, but should right the ship fairly soon. For coverage on these teams and more, stick with The Hockey Writers.
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.