It’s Fan Appreciation Week in St. Louis. It’s that time of year when the St. Louis Blues organization says, “Hey, everyone, thanks for all your support! Without you, we couldn’t do it.” There are giveaways for all three home games this week, t-shirts, towels, posters and the like — but what the fans would really appreciate, more than anything else, is for the Blues to start playing well at home. That’s what the Blues fans really want.
Blues Rank 11th in Winning at Home
Out of the 39 games the Blues have played this year at home at the Scottrade Center, they’ve logged 25 wins, 12 losses and 2 overtime losses. That result ranks them third in the Central division, behind the Nashville Predators, with a best home game performance of 28-8-4 and the Chicago Blackhawks, ranking second 24-12-5. Compare the Blues to all the other teams in the NHL and you’ll find they rank 11th, far behind the league-leading home performers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, at 30-8-1.
4 Losses in 5 Games at Home
Last night’s game, for example, against the Winnipeg Jets, had 19,616 onlookers. The 1-0 loss by the Blues saw 26 saves by goalie Jake Allen, but despite a cheering and encouraging crowd, the Blues weren’t able to get a puck by Jets’ goaltender Ondrej Pavelek — who posted his 15th shutout. That loss gives the Blues 4 losses in the past 5 games at home, a statistic that is hard to swallow for even the most enthusiastic fan.
When it comes to away game results, the St. Louis Blues really shine. The Blues rank 1st in their division with road game wins, with a record of 24-12-5. In fact, they’re second in the entire league, just behind the 2014-15 President’s Trophy winners, the New York Rangers, with a road game record of 27-11-2. To add to the Blues’ road playing confidence, Sunday night’s 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks marked the 1st time in 17 visits to the United Stadium that the Blues were able to garner a win — which goes all the way back to January 21,2009. That win has put to bed the first half of a United Stadium shutout jinx against the Blues in the regular season, but it still leaves the playoffs, where the Blues have been shut down at United three times so far — without a win,
The 2.8 million residents of Greater St. Louis have a lot of choice when it comes to their sports entertainment. With three professional sports teams in three different leagues, St. Louis is a sports city, and all three venues, for the St. Louis Rams (football), the St. Louis Cardinals (baseball) and the St. Louis Blues are located in the downtown section of the city. This season, the Scottrade Center is in 14th place in the NHL for attendance, but the Blues have had in excess of 19,000 spectators attend a home game this year a total of 21 times — quite impressive for an arena that holds 19,150 spectators. On the flip side, the worst attended game so far this season tallied 15,702 fans — in a game the Blues lost, against the Nashville Predators, on November 13th. That number dwarfs the attendance by the least attended team in the league, the Florida Panthers, who have averaged 11,227 spectators so far this season.
This week, the last week of the regular season, the last of the Blues’ games will be held at home. They face the Blackhawks on Thursday, and will end the season playing against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Blues will need to learn to win at the Scottrade Center if they want to make it to the Stanley Cup, and there’s no better time to turn that record around than now.
And that’s what the Blues fans really want.