So far, the Blues have played 43 games and they’ve got 42 points to show for it. One may find it hard to believe that this team still has a chance at the playoffs. Especially after the unbearable inconsistency that has been on display for the first half of this season. Suddenly, Blues fans are looking at the standings with their fingers crossed. St. Louis is 5 points out of the 2nd WildCard spot with 1 game in hand.
(Standings courtesy of NHL.com)
The Blues need to play like every game, every period, and every shift counts right now because the longer St. Louis has two identities, the harder it’s going to be to dig themselves out. Unfortunately, we’re not sure which team is going to show up from game to game.
We can jump to the conclusion that Rookie Goaltender, Jordan Binnington is the solution to a confidence issue that the team has with their number 1 netminder, Jake Allen. We can assume that the team will just pull things together and that Binnington might own the net when he deserves to, but that’s not our call.
It’s really a lot to ask of a first-year NHL Goaltender to save a dumpster fire season like this one. I’m not saying that Jordan Binnington isn’t capable of carrying the Blues to the playoffs, but it’s quite the task at hand. We are essentially hanging our playoff hopes on a goaltender with 3 starts. He’s been good, yes. I think some are a little over-excited.
Do I believe Jordan is up for the challenge? Absolutely. He may have proven that already in just a few starts, but I’m not sure I see his success lasting through the inconsistencies this Blues team is likely to bring based on recent failures. Ones that I can’t pin solely on Jake Allen because the team doesn’t show up, often. But, at what point do you stop with the excuses?
It is my opinion that Jake Allen has unfortunately underperformed when he was needed most. He was unable to bail out the guys many times when they made mistakes, and I think that makes a player hesitate to make certain moves out there, unsure if they’re going to be blasted on social media for leaving their goaltender out to dry. Fact is Jake isn’t saving the day.
If and or when the Blues are to crack in front of Binnington, I fully expect Jake Allen to get back in net with a purpose to fight for his role on this team. Do I think he’ll keep the net? I’m not sure I have confidence that this team and Jake Allen can win more games than they lose. There’s just something there. Sometimes a soft goal seems to drain the team of perseverance. Seems personal.
Let’s get back on track. There are a lot of people that are going to follow along, looking at the standings, hoping for the best. That’s great and I’m all for it, but I’m a guy that always prepares for the worst as well. So, sorry if what I present to you next bursts your bubble. I don’t think it’s likely this team makes the playoffs. I’d like them to, but I don’t see it happening.
Last season, 95 points were needed to get into the playoffs. You remember. The Blues had 94. So, let’s just say that 95 is the magic number. The Blues have 39 games left. They (hypothetically) need 53 of 78 possible points to reach 95 and clinch the 2nd WildCard. Of course, things may be different this time around.
Here are records (From game 44-82) that the Blues could successfully reach 95 points with…
I just wanted to pinpoint exactly what kind of run we’re talking about here.
The Blues are currently on pace for an 80 point season. You can’t play less consistent than the Blues have the 1st half of the season. Of course, I think we’ll see a much better 2nd half, but the recent past is likely to haunt the Blues before it’s over with.
If the Blues did make the playoffs, do you believe this team could win a playoff series? multiple playoff series’? Unfortunately, as of right now they’ve proven that they can’t. I think it’s likely that this team puts some win streaks together and excites you a few times, but I warn you to just stay calm because this team has more than just a goaltending issue.