Blues hope for continued success in meeting with Canucks
A three-game winning streak has the St. Louis Blues believing their season is again back on track, with Monday’s road clash with the Vancouver Canucks an opportunity to keep the good times rolling.
The Blues have had the league’s wildest swings so far this season. After starting with three wins, they suffered an eight-game losing skid, enjoyed a seven-game winning spree and then went 2-7-1 before this mini-streak. Even after all that, St. Louis still has the opportunity to pull within a couple of points of a wild-card spot when they face the Canucks.
The Blues recently opened a five-game road trip with wins in Edmonton and Calgary on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
“It’s a big road trip for us,” forward Ivan Barbashev told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We need those wins, especially right now. That’s what we’re doing. We’ve got to keep building.”
Having production throughout the roster has been a big part of this latest turnaround, and the line of Barbashev, Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou has played a large role, combining for four of their team’s six even-strength goals in their Alberta sweep.
“They’re clicking,” coach Craig Berube said. “They’re … using their speed, their abilities, and they’re playing pretty direct, which is good. Making some good plays in the offensive zone and capitalizing off of it.”
The Canucks are looking to regroup after Saturday’s dismal 5-1 home loss to the Winnipeg Jets, a clash that ended with them being jeered off the ice by their fans.
The final score actually flattered the Canucks. The team was without a couple of key forwards in Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson, who leads Vancouver in points with 34, due to illness.
Making the performance even worse was how well they played a couple of nights earlier in a victory over the Calgary Flames.
“It’s more frustrating watching our team sometimes when you can go from great to whatever (Saturday night) was,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “You try to build them up. You told them how good they played in Calgary and we did an awful lot of good things, and then we come here and it’s not even the same team. It’s hard to understand.”
The Canucks, who started the season by losing seven games (0-5-2) have twice last week had the opportunity to pull above the .500 mark only to come up short.
“The best teams are the most consistent teams on a nightly basis,” captain Bo Horvat said. “It was night and day from our game in Calgary and that’s unacceptable.”
Also unacceptable, or at least uninspiring, is the fact Vancouver has a six-game road winning streak but has lost five of its last seven home games, and those two wins were in overtime against non-playoff teams, the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens.
“We’ve got to figure out how to play at home,” defenseman Ethan Bear said. “Quite frankly, I just don’t know what’s going on. If I had the answer for it, I’d be sure to share it. It’s really tough. . . just to see. We’ve got to stop having so much fun and just get to work because of what needs to be done.”
–Field Level Media