Thursday night presented the St. Louis Blues with an opportunity to end National Hockey League history and the unbeaten string of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues, though, got behind in the opening seconds of the game and could never find the net during a 3-0 loss. The team’s great power play from earlier in the year has gone ice cold and St. Louis couldn’t take advantage of Chicago needing to bring in their backup goalie for the final two periods of the game.
The Blues were over 30 percent on the year on their power play for the longest time, but now haven’t scored on their last 13 power play opportunities. St. Louis had a real chance to make a statement against Chicago and to be the first team to win in regulation against them. The Blues failed in that and now sit in fourth place in the Central Division and while being in seventh place in the Western Conference, St. Louis is only one point out of fourth place and home ice for the playoffs.
The issue is that there are 10 teams within four points of each other right now from fourth place all the way down to 14th place, so the margin for error is very thin. The Blues should take a good, hard look at what happened against Chicago and especially the early goal to realize that winning hockey isn’t one where you give up a goal in the first 20 seconds of the game. There are simply too many teams too close to each other right now to give up early goals and easy points.