Perhaps no one's talking about them yet because they haven't actualized as a solid contender, thanks to that horrible power play, some middling starts for key players and the Lightning sucking all the air out of the Eastern Conference. But they're banking points now and will only get better, despite their coach. Oh no, the pills are wearing off! Will it work? NHL iron on stickers, it's not complicated.

Emily Kaplan: Maybe they've gotten lost in these fluky early weeks, maybe it's fatigue because this team is always a pest in the West, but man, the St. Louis Blues are sneaky-good. As if a 10-2-1 record and four-game winning streak aren't enough, the Blues' most recent win was a 4-2 thriller over the next-best team in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings, on Monday. St. Louis is the only undefeated team at home, and have the league's best winning percentage since their coaching change last season. Most impressive about this iteration of the Blues: They're the same team that has made the playoffs every season since 2011-12, but with an extra element of surprise. Yes, Vladimir Tarasenko is usually the biggest threat on the ice -- but now he has an equally dangerous sidekick in Jaden Schwartz. The 25-year-old Schwartz has actually been more productive, with 17 points in the first seven games (Tarasenko is doing just fine with 14 points). And yes, this is still a team anchored by stingy defense -- their 2.33 goals per game is third in the league -- but with newish coach Mike Yeo, they've also incorporated an up-tempo pace. Also: led by Alex Pietrangelo's 13 points, Blues' defensemen have been major contributors on offense. Remember, the Blues have suffered incredibly poor injury luck. Robby Fabbri is lost for the season with knee surgery, Alex Steen missed the first six games while Patrik Berglund, Jay Bouwmeester and Zach Sanford are still sidelined. And even still, everything has been falling the Blues' way. Even their emergency veteran signing, Scottie Upshall, has panned out, reigniting chemistry with four points in his last two games. As long as they're playing this well, it will be impossible not to overlook the Blues. They're not just sneaky-good, they're good.

Comment

Comment:

Tweet