Record Setting Blues Keep on Impressing
Well it has been that kind of fairy tale year for the St. Louis Blues and their faithful fans, something we have all been waiting for, as the Blues ride right back to the top of the NHL standings (don't want to jinx it, but this fan thinks they will comfortably stay there). After last nights win against central division foes, the Nashville Predators, the Blues climbed to the top of the league, two points ahead of the East leading New York Rangers, who still sit with a game in hand however.
That was not all the Blues had to celebrate about last night, as the team also set some very impressive records to go along with the win.
We all know the unbelievable record that the Blues have on home ice, but now they can lay claim to having the most wins on home ice of all the Blues teams of the past. A new team record. The win against Nashville gave the Blues their 30th win of the season at the Scottrade Centre, and beat the previous mark of 29 set by the Blues team of the 1980/81 season.
The St. Louis Blues have more to celebrate other than clinching a playoff spot after they set a new team record for most wins on home ice at 30.
(Photo: bleedinblue.com, Vincent Biase)
To add the the impressive nature of the record they just set, the Blues still have 3 games left on home ice. So lets go out on a limb here and say they will add to the newly set record in the upcoming games, against either Columbus, Detroit or Phoenix, or all of them.
Although a team record adds to the moral of the whole team, the next record the Blues set is all about their star goalie tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot. Both of these goalies have put together impressive seasons, thus far, and will be the Blues best weapon going into the playoffs in a few weeks time. Last night was the teams 15th shutout, and although credit has to be given to the team as a whole for their stingy defensive play, the goalies have managed to tie a modern NHL record.
Already having passed the Blues team record of 13 shutouts, I see in the future a new record will be set by the Blues goalies when either one of them puts up another blank before the end of the season (shhh! Lets not mention that 'S' word anymore though, and keep those fingers crossed, and even knock on wood if you feel the need)
Adding to the goalie records was Brian Elliot, who is now looking to add to his, already franchise record, for most consecutive shutout minutes. Elliot who has three shutouts in the last three games is now at 186 minutes and 33 seconds of allowing no goals while tending the pipes. He, also with last nights shutout, now holds the Blues record for most shutouts in a season with 9, passing the 8 mark set by, none other than the great, Glenn Hall way back in the 1968/69 season.
With only five games to go in the season for the Blues they will look to try and beat, or tie, their team best mark of 114 points in a season, which was done the last time, and only time, the Blues earned the Presidents' Trophy. All though they are certainly capable of doing it, managing to win everyone of their last five games (or losing only one in a shootout) may be too tough of a test to see this record succumb to the 2011/12 Blues as well. Even so, eyes will be on them if they can, and if not, those same eyes, and more, will be watching what they can do come playoff time.
Blues Briefs ... In other news around the Blues ...
The Blues AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. They are currently sitting tied for 6th place at 75 points with four other teams. They have eight games left in the season. The Rivermen are currently in a three game slide after winning the previous five before starting tist losing streak. If they can turn it around quick they should be able to solidify that finally playoff spot for themselves, or maybe even better than that 8th spot.
Steen Skates Finally
Alexander Steen, who has been missing from the Blues lineup since December 27th suffering from the symptoms of a concussion, has returned back to the team. He has played in the last two games, adding 1 assist and being a plus 2. This addition will be a boost to the lineup as before Steen went down with the injury he had played 36 games, recording 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in the process.
Schwartz Stars Out of the Gate
After signing his first pro contract with the Blues weeks ago, it was not long until Schwartz was able to net another first, an NHL goal. It took no longer than his first game to get his first and then followed it up with another in his second game. So far through his short five game career, Schwartz has put up the 2 goals to go with 1 assist.