Blues Primed to Break the NHL Record for Fewest Goals Allowed
The St. Louis Blues are well on their way to setting a new NHL record for fewest goals allowed in a season. With just six games left to play in 2011-12 the Blues have allowed just 139 goals. The NHL record, set by New Jersey in 2003-04, is 164 goals in 82 games. Assuming the Blues can allow an average of four goals or fewer over their last six games they will become the new NHL record holder. On the year the Blues lead the NHL allowing just 1.83 goals a game. They lead the Los Angeles Kings, a potential playoff opponent, by a margin of 0.26. Barring some sort of major defensive collapse we can all but officially pencil in the St. Louis Blues as the team that has allowed the fewest goals in 82 games in NHL history. At their current rate it appears the Blues could best the record by 10-15 goals, a fairly considerable margin when you consider how imposing New Jersey was defensively in 2003-04. The above is a testament to just how effective the St. Louis Blues have been at limiting the opposition with strong, intelligent defensive play and impressive, dependable goaltending. It's important to remember that the team's defensive play involves more than the obvious group of defenseman and goaltenders. It's a team effort. Under Ken Hitchcock the St. Louis forwards have become an intricate piece of the overall St. Louis defense. Often you will find a St. Louis forward tracking deep into his own zone, disrupting the opposition from behind his own goal line. This varies greatly from the old system that saw forwards drift into their own zone as opposed to the relentless pursuit we see now. As a fan, the news that the St. Louis Blues may set a new NHL record is a lot of fun to hear but it isn't the goal we all have in mind.