The St. Louis Blues are currently 2-2 in their last four games, although you couldn’t tell it from the way the team has been performing on the ice and the reaction from fans in the St. Louis area. All kinds of positive energy is flowing through St. Louis now and both the team and the fans have a lot to be happy about.
Much of the energy is coming off of the Blues’ most recent win at home against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. St. Louis was able to top the visitors with a final 3-0 score, which doesn’t sound like anything special until you look at who was on the ice wearing a blue sweater.
Alexander Steen made his return to the ice Thursday after taking just over a week off due to injury. He made his presence felt right away by contributing on all three Blues goals; assisting Chris Stewart on both the first and third goal, and netting the second himself. Speaking of Stewart, two goals in a three goal game, not too bad.
Those three goals were more than enough to win the game thanks to a big performance from Jake Allen in net. Allen, up from the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen, earned his first NHL shutout of his career, and the magic 8-ball says it won’t be his last.
Allen is also predicted to get the start against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. The Ducks, however, are on a winning surge of their own. If the rookie can hold his own against the Anaheim offense, look for the momentum and confidence to swing the Blues’ way.
For the moment, St. Louis looks to have some hope in their netminders as well as in their scorers. Yes, if recent memory is any indication, the stars are staring to align, again, in St. Louis.
But there are still some details on the table that need to be addressed. Andy McDonald and Vladimir Tarasenko are still on injured reserve. Although, they have been skating with the team in practice which is only adding to the feel-good mood around the archway. T.J. Oshie is also still on the injured list, although he is listed as day-to-day and rumors are swirling that he may be on the brink of a return to the ice. That is, if he can keep his pet dogs under control.
The Blues decided not to re-sign NHL veteran Jason Arnott, which can be taken both ways by fans. Some believe passing on a veteran of Arnott’s caliber was a mistake the Blues have now made twice, others say that the Blues are doing just fine without him or the headaches he brings. In all honesty, both sides are right. There were positives and negatives on both sides of this issue and taking one look at the way the Blues are playing now and what potential they have later on, the front office made the right call.
While passing on a veteran, the Blues did sign a deal with a youngster. Ryan Tesink and the Blues agreed to an entry-level deal recently. Tesink currently plays for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior League and was the Blues’ 6th round pick in the 2011 draft.
Apparently, the St. Louis scouts saw something in the Quebec Major Junior League that they couldn’t pass up. If Allen and the rest of the Blues’ young roster is any indication, they know talent when they see it.