The Blues dropped their 2nd in a row last night in as many nights to the LA Kings in the gimmick. I started hearing some bandwagoners jump ship last night on the twittersphere and wondered why? The team is still first overall in the west and first overall in the NHL. The NY Rangers have only one game in hand and are 2 points behind the boys wearing the note.
As I got into work here today and started making my rounds on the internet reading stories I stopped at yahoo.com’s NHL page and saw Mr. Cotsonika’s Three Periods piece, where he thinks the Blues need to keep the gas pedal floored. As I read it more and as he was explaining why I kinda laughed and he kinda negated his arguement on why they needed to keep the pedal down. As most Blues fans remember the 99-00 Presidents Trophy run they were knocked out in the first rd of the playoffs that year by the Sharks. Now that could also be a first round match up for the Blues this year if the Sharks manage to make a decent stretch run and have the dominoes fall into place. The issue with is statement is that the Sharks have made it to the Western Conference finals the past few years with the majority of their core from those teams still intact.
I personally think the Blues need to start resting some of their vets a bit more to keep the gas in those legs. By no means am I saying for the Blues to let up because even if they do not win the cup at least some hardware is vindication that this team has finally arrived after years of rebuilding after the lock out. I truly think that with as young as the team is rest for even some of the players taking the majority of the ice time would be beneficial too. Hitch has some very tough decisions to make as this team gets healthy as well.
As of late there have been a few underperforming Blues and a few unexpected players playing great as well with little playoff and even NHL experience. The bad form of Ian Cole as of late shows he is getting a bit tired. Maybe due to conditioning or something else but it is a bit concerning from a player with top 4 defensive pairing talent. BJ Crombeen has also been a PIM magnet earning the Luxury Suite Tour last night. Some of the players over performing as of late, or performing at what should be their level of play has been Jaden Schwartz scoring 2 goals in his forst 3 NHL games. Whether or not he can keep that pace depends solely on where Hitch has him in the line up. Also Chris Porter and Patrik Berglund have been playing great as of late. Porter may not be contributing much offensively but his grinding against other teams has been wearing the other teams down considerably. Captain David Backes has also been playing out of his mind as well. He has made it very obvious why management picked him as captain.
The Blues only have 8 games left in the regular season and still hold a fairly sizable lead in the West. The Blues need to keep doing what they are doing to keep this spectacular season going. Hitch has won a cup for a reason and has the Blues playing the way they are because of his hockey sense. To continue with what was started by my friend Brad Lee at stlouisgametime.com, Why not the St Louis Blues.