3-4-14: The Blues and Sabres made a blockbuster swap this past Friday night. The Blues acquired Ryan Miller and Steve Ott in exchange for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, young prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round draft pick, and a 2016 third-round pick. Both Ott and Miller joined the team for Sunday's game vs Phoenix.
3-3-14: The Blues lost a pair of 1-0 games coming out of the break and were held scoreless for two periods by Phoenix this past Sunday. Fortunately for the Blues, they scored four times in the third period to win in Ryan Miller's debut. They are an elite team in the West and can still finish as high as first in the conference or third in their division. That’s how tough the West is this year.
The rest of the Blues' schedule this month is tough. They play 14 games in 25 days, with eight of those contests taking place on the road.
2-10-14: The Blues have won three out of four games and are 6-1-1 in eight games since they suffered a 7-1 road loss to the New Jersey Devils. St. Louis is tied for first in the Central with the Chicago Blackhawks and is three points behind the Ducks for the most points in the league. The Blues have three games in hand on both teams. The Blues are averaging 3.32 goals per game this season, which is an increase from the previous two seasons.
2-3-14: The Blues have won four of their last five games, despite playing the majority of those on the road. St. Louis has played the fewest games of any NHL team, and as a result their point totals are misleading. Only the Ducks have a better record than the Blues. Jaroslav Halak has recovered nicely from a lousy December where he went 3-3-1, with a .885 save percentage. He has won six of his eight starts in January and posted a .939 save percentage.
1-27-14: The Blues bounced back from a 7-1 demolishing at the hands of the Devils last Tuesday to beat the Rangers and Islanders in consecutive games. They are 4-4-0 in their past eight games. No matter how great as team is, everybody hits a lull at some point during the season. St. Louis is still in contention for the top spot in the Central and possibly the best record in the West. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak is 5-1-0 in his past six starts.
1-20-14: The Blues have had a smooth ride to the top end of the NHL standings for most of the season, but they have encountered some trouble lately. The Blues have dropped three of their last four games against tough opponents in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Anaheim. St. Louis is still in the mix for the Central Division crown because it hasn't played very many games. The Blues sit six points back of Chicago with four games in hand.
1-13-14: The Blues had their seven-game winning streak snapped in Vancouver this past Friday, losing 2-1 to the Canucks. It was the first time in 11 games the Blues failed to earn at least a point. The only thing keeping the Blues from the top spot in the Central is they've played three fewer games than the Blackhawks. They also have a shot to catch the Ducks for the Western Conference lead. The Blues have scored 46 goals over their past 11 games, an average of 4.18 per game.
1-7-14: St. Louis has won five straight games and has a single regulation loss in its last 13. The Blues have 63 points, four back of Anaheim for first in the NHL, but no team can top their current 82-game 126-point pace. The Blues are also the NHL's most dominant five-on-five team, scoring 1.60 goals for for every one against. Expect Ken Hitchcock’s club to fighting all season long from here on out for the President’s Trophy crown.
12-30-13: The Blues squeaked out a 3-2 overtime win in Dallas this past Sunday night for their fourth win in their last five games. They are 8-2-2 in December. The Blues are one of the elite teams in the NHL and are just four points back of the league-leading Blackhawks and have three games in hand on the Blackhawks. Based on point totals, the Central Division is the NHL's best. Yet the Blues are now 12-0-1 against their division rivals this season.
12-23-13: St. Louis has won six of their last seven games and out-scored their opposition 15-3 in in their last three contests. The Blues are a serious Stanley Cup contender, and they're running over the rest of the league in general. While the Blues have dominated most of the NHL there is one thing to keep in mind if they make it to the conference finals: The team is currently 0-5-1 against the top four clubs in the Pacific.
12-16-13: The Blues continue to roll along as they took care of business last week with wins against the Jets, Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets. The three victories improve St. Louis to 9-3-0 in their past 12 games. The Blues are four points back of the Blackhawks for the best record in the NHL and they have four games in hand on Chicago. Alex Steen has 22 goals in 31 games, but only two in his past seven games.
12-9-13: The Blues hit their first real tough patch of the season last week picking up only one win against the lowly Islanders. St. Louis dropped games against the Kings, Sharks and Ducks. Alex Steen struggled last week. He picked up a lone assist and was minus-5 in the three games against Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. Steen has only six points in his last nine games after putting up 26 in his first 19 contests.
12-2-13: Facing Minnesota, Colorado and San Jose, the Blues managed to win its first two games by a combined score of 7-1, which is not bad given the quality of the first two teams. Unfortunately for Blues fans, the Sharks were able to beat St. Louis by a 6-3 decision on Friday. Jay Bouwmeester is a candidate for Canada's Olympic roster. He has 19 points in 25 games this season. Bouwmeester hasn't topped 30 points since coming Western Conference in the summer of 2009.
11-25-13: The Blues had a perfect week with wins over the Sabres, Stars, and an epic shootout win over Boston. The Blues victory over the Bruins was arguably their toughest test to date. The Blues are 8-1-1 over their last 10 games and have an incredible 10-1-2 record at the Scottrade Center. They may not have the most points in the NHL, but the Blues maybe the league’s best overall best team. Ken Hitchcock has his team playing superb hockey and the Blues are a legit Stanley Cup contender.
11-18-13: Alex Steen leads the NHL in scoring. Wait who? Not Sidney Crosby or John Tavares or Alex Ovechkin? Alex Steen does. Steen has 17 goals and 26 points in 19 games and leads the league in both categories. Steen has 27 points in 40 games last season and has only topped 50 points once. Steen has been a major reason why the Blues have been a force this year. The Blues have only played 19 games thus far.
11-12-13: No team has played fewer games than the St. Louis Blues. This past week they beat Calgary, Montreal, and Pittsburgh. Alexander Steen has been quite the story thus far. Through 15 games, Steen has 21 points and is only six points behind his total from last year. Steen is tied for first in the NHL with 14 goals and sits tied for fourth in overall points. Oh and I should mention that it’s a contract year for Steen.
11-5-13: Despite, their 8-2-2 record the Blues rank only eighth in the Western Conference. However, the Blues have only played 12 games this season. Alex Pietrangelo has 12 points in 12 games and is quickly becoming one the league’s best defenseman. Alex Steen’s 12 goals lead the NHL and his 18 points are good for fourth in the NHL. The Blues have an outstanding 5-1-1 home record this season. Their record is deceiving, but the Blues will be at the top of the West standings come season’s end.
10-29-13: The Blues had a strange week where they went 1-0-1. They dropped an overtime game at home the Vancouver Canucks and then scored six goals versus the Predators. The Blues have only played nine games. Alex Steen’s 15 points is good for fourth overall in the NHL. His ten goals are tied with Alex Ovechkin for tops in the league. Steen’s career high in points is 51 back in the 2010-11 campaign. If Steen can continue this pace, the Blues have a great shot of representing the West in the Stanley Cup.
10-21-13: All the talk about the Blues coming into the season surrounded their goaltending and if they would be able to score enough goals. Well, Jaroslav Halak continues to impress in net. So they seem okay in that department. David Backes and Alex Steen had a total of 14 goals between them last season. Already they have 13 goals. I think they will be alright with scoring. Chris Stewart needs to start scoring or he may find himself in the press box watching or in another uniform.
10-14-13: The Blues are outscoring opponents by a 19-7 margin early on, which is great for a team that has had trouble generating offense over the last couple of years. The Blues have been successful due to their 14.6 shooting percentage, which is well above the NHL average. Ken Hitchcock’s philosophy of dominating the shot column and playing sound defense is working in St. Louis. Last year, the Blues struggled between the pipes, but this year Jaroslav Halak seems to have regain his form.
10-7-13: The consensus favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the Blues have scored 11 goals in their first two games. However, they did beat Florida 7-0. In any case, Jaroslav Halak has been a rock in net. David Backes looks like he’ll have a bounce back year. Alex Pietrangelo is showing why he’s worth $6.5 million per year.
9-4-13: The St. Louis Blues lineup is ready to win. GM Doug Armstrong has already put a load of pressure on his new acquisition, Center Derek Roy. Is Derek Roy the answer to the hoisting the Stanley Cup? Well, it’s helpful that Roy is a natural center who will be centering their top lines in key moments all season long. Also, the Blues gained more depth and insurance at center with the signing of free agents, Maxim Lapierre and Keith Aucoin. Gone is David Perron to the Edmonton Oilers, but Magnus Pajaarvi is a youthful guarantee that, spread across the St. Louis lineup, are potent combinations of strength and skill on the cusp of learning what it means to be perennial contenders.
Blue’s fans, filling the Scottrade Center, will place their faith in every game, in every player, in every moment this 2013-14 NHL season. However, will they oust the Chicago Blackhawks as number one in the division and finally knock the monkey off their back that has been the Los Angeles Kings, en route to the franchises first Stanley Cup? The notes are in place, but will the rest of the league leave St, Louis singing a different tune.
8-3-13: The Blues have agreed to a five-year, $27 million contract extension with defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
Blues 2013 NHL Draft Summary:
Pick #47: Thomas Vannelli, D
Pick #57: William Carrier, LW
Pick #112: Zachary Pochiro, LW
Pick #173: Santeri Saari, D