The Blues edged Detroit 2-1 on Wednesday night, and the victory briefly inflated their playoff hopes after the team’s miserable seven-game losing streak and the demoralizing trade that sent center Paul Stastny to Winnipeg.
OK, fellas … What’s next? What’s up? What can you do with the rest of your season?
The Blues are in Dallas to play the Stars in a Saturday afternoon game (1 p.m. STL time.) And starting Thursday they’ll be on the road to play San Jose, the LA Kings and Anaheim in a five-day test.
As of now the Blues are tied with Anaheim for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but the Ducks can move ahead by getting a win or a point against visiting Columbus on Friday night.
Through Thursday night the Blues’ playoff probability is 29.8 percent according to Sports Club Stats. Even with their offense powered down and struggling, the Blues still have a shot at making the playoffs. The simulations at Sports Club Stats show the Blues would have a 95 percent chance of making the playoffs by going 12-5. At 11-6, it’s a 76.4 percent chance. Go 9-4-4, and the probability is 68 percent.
The most important question … and in some ways the only important question:
Can the Blues score enough goals to make a legitimate run for a postseason spot?
That’s really what it comes down to, and let’s update the key number here: Since Dec. 12 the Blues are the lowest scoring team in the NHL, averaging 2.15 goals in their 34 game.
They’ve scored only 57 even-strength goals during this stretch for a dreadful average of 1.67 even-ice goals per game. And during this extended scoring drought the Blues have scored two or fewer goals in 21 of the 34 contests. Another nugget from the previous 34 games: the Blues have only 21 goals on high-danger scoring chances — a pathetically anemic total considering that 21 other NHL teams have at least 40 high-danger goals since Dec. 12.
The challenge is really pretty simple … if not easy.
— The Blues must find a way to get 3 goals in a game as often as possible from here on it.
— When the Blues have scored exactly three in a game this season they’re 9-2-2…
— When they score more than 3 goals in a game, they’re 17-2 …
— And when the Blues score 2 goals or fewer in a game, their record is 9-22-2.
Go get some goals, boys. Be stubborn about it. Get in front of the net and and refuse to budge. Park yourselves in position for tip-ins, deflections and rebounds.
And can Mike Yeo and staff please do something — anything — to fix the dullest and most predictable power-play tactics I’ve ever seen?
You want to go to the playoffs? SCORE MORE GOALS.
If you can’t increase the scoring, then go home.