Blues Keys For Success

Phillip Scherer

So far this hockey season, the St. Louis Blues have been one of the most successful teams, both in the Western Conference, as well as in the entire league.  Since head coach Ken Hitchcock took over in early November, the Blues have played outstanding hockey, recovering from a fairly disappointing 6-7-0 start under previous head coach Davis Payne.

Although the Blues have been one of the best teams thus far in the hockey season, there are a few keys that they will need if their success is going to continue deep into the playoffs.  First, the Blues will need to stay healthy as they head toward the end of the season.  In the first half this year, the team has seen some of its most prominent players spend time injured, most notably are center Andy McDonald, as well as left winger Alex Steen.  The Blues cannot afford to see key figures get injured as they head toward the playoffs if they hope to make a run for the Stanley Cup.

The second key for the Blues will be seeing if the outstanding goaltending of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot can continue into the second half.  As a tandem, they dominated the opposition in the first half, combining for the most shutouts in the NHL.  If this is able to continue, the Blues may be able to make a long, enjoyable playoff run.

The final key will be seeing if they can continue to dominate on home ice.   This season, the Blues have had the best home record in the NHL, losing only three times in regulation at Scottrade Center.  This will be a huge key for them down the stretch and into the playoffs, because the more games you win on your own ice, the less you have to win on the road.

If the Blues can attain these goals in the second half of the season, this could be a magical ride into the postseason, a much needed one for a franchise that has not been to the Stanley Cup finals since 1968.