This year the St. Louis Blues have been commonly labeled the underdog of hockey. While battling injuries to key players throughout the year, they have put together a remarkable season.
St.Louis, and Anaheim have two games left, while Nashville has one game left in the regular season.
If Nashville loses their game tonight ,St.Louis will just need to win against Columbus to clinch the playoffs.
The Blues find themselves in St.Louis facing the Columbus Blue Jackets(41-29-10) who have just clinched clinched their first postseason ever, and the Blues will try to sneak in after a five year drought.
Andy Murray's Bluenotes finds their team needing three points to secure a happy landing in "Playoff Land."
The Blues are looking for their seventh straight home victory. The Blues have won four straight at home.
Columbus is (0-5-1) in St.Louis since a 4-1 victory on March 27,2007.
St.Louis have really played well against Columbus this year with a record of (4-1-0).
In the five games played against Columbus, the Blues have out scored Columbus (21-13); that's a margin of eight goals.
Eight of those Blues 21 goals came on special teams (six power play, two shorthanded).
St.Louis is ranked eighth on its power play, and ranked third on its penalty kill.
Columbus on the other hand is ranked thirteith on its power play, and ranked eleventh on penalty kill.
The Blues have played well as of late compiling seven victories in its last nine games.They also finished a five game road trip in which they went (3-1-1).
The last home game the Blues played was ironically against Columbus. The Blues were victorious by a score of 4-3 in the shoot out.
Chris Mason will look to keep up the good work against these Blue Jackets. In the four games he has a (3-1-0) record, with a 2.93 goals against average. Mason's record stands tall lifetime against them with a (12-2-0-1) record, with a 2.07 goals against average, .936 save percentage, and one shut out.
Columbus has Steve Mason (33-18-7) with a 2.23 goals against average, and 10 shut outs for the year.
But Steve Mason has struggled with the Blues in four games this year. His record in those four games is (1-3-0-1) with a 3.75 goals against average, and a save percentage of only .850% (has allowed 19 goals in these four games).
Nobody can pin point who the hero will be for either team. But for the Blues its a must win situation. The Blue Jackets are already going to the postseason, but they wont be coming to St.Louis for a cup of tea..and they know it!
Players to watch for St.Louis would include Alex Steen, Brad Boyes, David Perron, T.J. "King" Oshie. Steen has six points (3 g 3 a) in five games against Columbus, Boyes has five points (3 g 2 a) including one game winner, Perron has five points (1 g 4 a) ,with two game winners, "King" Oshie has played four games against Columbus, and he has four points (3 g 1 a) also not to mention two huge hits on Rick Nash.
Players to watch for Columbus would include Rick Nash, A. Vermette,R.J. Umberger, K. Huselius(though Huselius is questionable due to a possible concussion).
Nash has seven points (3 g 4 a) in five games against the Blues, Vermette has one point (1 g 0 a) in three games, Huselius has two points(1 g 1 a) in five games, Umberger has two points(1 g 1 a) in five games this year against the Blues.
In my oppinion this game for St.Louis will be symbolic of how hard this team works, and how far they will go to be best they can every night. It will show the Blues fans and foes that they mean business, and can seal the deal.
I think the Blues would love to put to rest the "underdog theme" of this year. Show everyone that they are an example of a commitment to the team, and that their belief in each other is just as important as their skills.
With the solid game play of the St.Louis Blues peaking all at once, these three tiny points might just turn out to be a huge four points.
"Let's Go Blues, Let's Go!"