Despite the fact the St. Louis Blues haven't officially earned a spot in the playoffs, tickets for the first two home playoff games of the first round go on sale Tuesday, April 23 at 10:00am. Dates for the two home games (along with opponents and the actual fact of whether or not the Blues will be in the playoffs) have yet to be determined. More information is available on the team's official site.
There's plenty of bad blood between the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks. This has been clear for years, but was again made evident throughout Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win for the Blues. Things almost completely boiled over in the third period when David Backes was involved in a scrum in front of Vancouver's crease.
Earlier, Backes had a fight rudely interrupted when Alexandre Burrows jumped him from behind. It was clear from that point forward that Backes had a vendetta to settle. Back to the third, Backes and David Perron were involved in a jostling match with Andrew Alberts and Zack Kassian. After the players were sent to their respective penalty boxes, Backes and Kassian continued to verbally battle.
If you were optimistic T.J. Oshie had recovered from an injured ankle and would be playing soon, here's some news that might burst your bubble. Jeremy Rutherford reports that Oshie has a stress fracture in his ankle and was scheduled to undergo surgery today, April 16th.
It's still unclear when Oshie might return to the lineup, but it's safe to assume that this procedure will keep him out at least a few more games, if not until the end of the regular season on April 27th.
You might recall that Verizon was running a contest where one lucky student between the grades of kindergarten and 8th would have the chance to bring David Backes to school for Show & Tell. On April 15th, Backes went back to school, joining third-grader Madison Gnade (left) of St. Paul's Catholic School in Fenton for a day she and her classmates will never forget.
It's safe to say that this nine-year-old student was the most popular in school as Backes met with her before signing autographs and speaking with her class. He then spoke in the school's gym, addressing a ton of students dressed in their best Blues gear.
Following a disappointing loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon, the Blues were left with just seven regular season games on their 2013 schedule. After 41 games, the Blues have 48 points which is good enough for 6th in the West.
With the Western Conference so tightly contested, what are the odds the Blues will make the playoffs? The answer is a bit more promising than you might expect.
The recent six-game winning streak by the St. Louis Blues could not have come at a better time. The team was floundering, struggling to hold on to one of the West's final playoff spots. When the calendar flipped to April, things changed. Brian Elliott found his 2011-12 form in net and the St. Louis defense played shutdown hockey. The result was an impressive stretch where the Blues defeated Chicago, Columbus, Detroit and Nashville once while besting Minnesota twice.
It's easy to fall under the belief that a win is a win. While that's true and claiming two points from a team is really all that matters, it's important to avoid letting bad habits develop even if you're securing results. Though the Blues went a perfect 6-for-6 during their streak, some extremely troubling trends developed while others got worse.
If you've been following the team closely, you know where this article is headed.
It'll go down in the books as just another assist, but Vladimir Tarasenko's effort to set up Andy McDonald for a goal against the Minnesota Wild deserves a bit more recognition.
Tarasenko chased down a puck that was cleared out of the St. Louis zone by David Backes. Though Minnesota's Justin Falk beat him to the puck, Tarasenko used his stick to disrupt the play, causing Falk to lose control and tumble to the ice. Falk wanted a penalty on the play, but it was deemed that he fell trying to reach back for the puck, not because of anything Tarasenko did.
Tarasenko then reached back around Falk and got off a one-handed pass to Andy McDonald. McDonald did the rest, sliding the puck into the back of the net on a shot that Niklas Backstrom probably should have saved.
When he was asked about the play after the game, Tarasenko said it was lucky. Fans may beg to differ as his ability to track the puck down, win it from the defenseman and get off a pass looked like it had little to do with luck and more to do with hard work and determination.
Remember all of those fans (and even some writers) that were suggesting and even insisting that the Blues trade Brian Elliott? They're all pretty quiet right now, aren't they?
Elliott posted his third consecutive shutout with a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. As the Blues picked up their sixth consecutive victory, Elliott collected his fifth consecutive "W" since returning from a conditioning stint in Peoria.
The shortened 2013 season really is an odd one, isn't it?
A recent article from the official site of the St. Louis Blues might have revealed what was the driving force behind Chris Stewart's disappointing 2011-12. After coming over to St. Louis and having a successful 2010-11, Stewart looked slow and unmotivated out on the ice in 2011-12. Between last year and the present year, Stewart reportedly worked out and improved his stamina. As we've seen, his hard work is paying dividends.
So, was Stewart's dismal performance due to a lack of effort? Not quite. It turns out Stewart has an allergy to brown rice - a staple in his meals - which was affecting his metabolism and causing him to be sluggish on the ice.
Brian Elliott has been named the NHL's 2nd Star of the Week for the week ending April 7th. Elliott joined Alex Ovechkin (1st star) and Henrik Lundqvist (3rd star) as the league's selections for most influential and most valuable players from the previous seven days.
Elliott earned the honors after posting a 3-0-0 record along with a 1.45 GAA in three appearances last week. He came in to relieve an injured Jaroslav Halak, defeating Minnesota by a score of 4-1. He followed this effort with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Finally, his best performance came on Sunday when he blanked the Detroit Red Wings 1-0.