As you all know the Blues blew yet another two goal lead and yet another third period lead in their 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. Sure the referees completely blew a call that disallowed what would have been the Blues game winning goal but if that is what you are focused on, you are missing the point. The Blues got outshot 31 to 15 after the 1st period.
This team, for that matter the organization, continues to fail miserably (generally speaking) at closing games out. It happened under Hitchcock. It’s still happening two coaches later under Berube.
Wednesday night was Jake Allen’s 8th quality start in a row. Many will point to his start against the Red Wings and see his 87% save percentage that night and assume it wasn’t a quality start. All that means to me is that they didn’t watch the game. Expect him to get the start tonight in Winnipeg.
The Jets are the 5th highest points percentage team in the NHL and are 9-3-2 at home and 6-3-1 in their last ten, winning their last four games. They have the 2nd best power play and the 8th best penalty kill.
Blake Wheeler is averaging 1.33 points per game while Patrik Laine leads the NHL in goals with 21 and will be looking for another 5 goal game against the Blues. The Jets have 5 players averaging over 0.8 points per game. The Blues have one (Ryan O’Reilly) not including Jordan Nolan’s one point in one game.
Alexander Steen will be a game time decision. Assuming he can go, you can expect their injury decimated lines to start like this:
Sanford – O’Reilly – Perron
Steen – Schenn – Tarasenko
Maroon – Bozak – Thomas
Nolan – Barbashev – Sundqvist
Edmundson – Parayko
Dunn – Butler
Bouwmeester – Bortuzzo
In order to hit 97 points which should be around a playoff spot, the Blues need to get 67% of their remaining points. They are currently earning 42%. Ouch.
NHL Champions for Charity
We’ve gotten some traction on the charity wager among the Central Division bloggers. More on that to come.
It’s a great day for hockey.