The NHL regular season is finally coming to a close within the next two weeks and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner. This season in the NHL has been full of excitement and teams such as the Florida Panthers or the Colorado Avalanche have proven they are some of the best teams in the league. But, a team that I believe does not get credited enough is the St Louis Blues.
The Former 2018-2019 Stanley Cup Champions have not received the credit they deserve this season. The Blues may have faced struggles in the beginning of the season and got off to a semi-slow start, but they are red hot going into the playoffs. The Blues with their explosive offense and veteran defensive core are a team that could surprise a lot of people in the playoffs.
St Louis Blues Impressive Regular Season
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs is arguably one of the most exciting events to watch in sports. In order to win the cup you need to win four best of seven series which is extremely difficult to do. Most past cup winners have had very well rounded teams from the net out and I believe the Blues have that this season.
The St Louis Blues currently sit in third place with 105 points in the very tight Central Division behind the Minnesota Wild. The Blues may have had their struggles earlier this season but those problems are long gone as they have won 9 out of their last 10 games. The Blues have peaked during the right time and a huge part of that has been their outstanding offense.
The Blues offense has been fantastic this season as they currently rank fourth in the NHL for goals per game with 3.7 goals. The Blues offense has also scored an absurd 51 goals in their last ten games as well. The Blues offense is led by forward Vladimir Tarasenko who has recorded 79 points in 71 games played this season.
The Blues also have a very solid defense as they currently rank 8th in the NHL for goals against per game with 2.68 goals. The Blues power play kill percentage has also been excellent this season as they rank fourth in the NHL with an 84.0% power play kill percentage. The Blues have a solid defensive core with Torey Krug and Justin Faulk this season.
The Blues have also had very solid goaltending this year between Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington. Both Blues goaltenders this season have recorded over .900 save percentages and under 3.1 GAA. The Blues have a solid 1-2 punch in the net this season and even though Husso has been playing better, it will be interesting to see who starts in the net in the playoffs.
Why The Blues Are Cup Contenders
The NHL regular season compared to the playoffs is a completely different animal, but thanks to the Blue’s veteran expercince, I do not see them missing a beat in round one of the playoffs. The Blues are extremely well rounded from the net out this season and unless teams can figure out how to stop their red hot offense, I do not see them losing many games in the first couple of rounds.
The Blues goaltending is going to be their biggest wild card in the playoffs. Everyone knows they have a great offense and defense, but their goaltending is very underrated. Jordan Binnington led the Blues to the cup in 2018-2019 and if he can find his game again in the playoffs, teams better watch out.