Victory against Islanders comes to Blues at just the right time
St. Louis Blues Roman Polak of the Czech Republic and New York Islanders Frans Nielsen of Denmark collide in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 5, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak of Slovakia kicks the puck away after a shot on goal by New York Islanders Thomas Vanek in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 5, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
New York Islanders Matt Carkner (R) uses his stick to keep St. Louis Blues Magnus Paajarvi of Sweden from getting to the puck in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 5, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
New York Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson of Sweden pushes St. Louis Blues T.J. Oshie away from the front of the goal in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 5, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT
(HockeySTL) -- The St. Louis Blues needed the New York Islanders Thursday night, or moreover, the Blues desperately needed a victory and who better than the 8-15-5 Islanders to get that win against. After playing two poor games, the Blues bounced back against the Eastern Conference team.
The Blues looked flat in both of their last two games, against the Sharks and Kings respectively, as they were outscored 9-5. The team needed a win against the flailing Islanders to remain in second in the Central Division with both Colorado and Minnesota trailing behind them closely. But Thursday night’s 5-1 victory over the Islanders pushed the Blues over the 40 point mark, 41 total, giving them a two point cushion over the Avalanche.
The Blues’ special team play accounted for 3 of the 5 goals in Thursday night’s game, sparking a substantial difference as they more than doubled their total in the previous two games. As the Western Conference leader in power play success, the Blues need the special team production to win as clearly evident in the lackluster games against the Sharks and Kings.
The top line for the Blues also helped ignite the offense. David Backes ripped a power play shot in the second period and TJ Oshie collected two more assists bringing his season total to 20, putting him in the top ten throughout the NHL. The Blues need Backes, Oshie and Alexander Steen to continue to put points on the board to win.
Thursday night’s game was the blueprint for success this season for the Blues. They need to continue this style of play to avoid similar outcomes to those games in California this past week.