Thursday, February 16, 2017

What a Blue Streak It Has Been

The Blues' Success-

Over the past five games the Blues have played like the team of old. Slow pace, grinding it out along the boards with a heavy forecheck. Wearing down their opponents both physically and mentally.

All of this during a five game road stretch.

The physical play from St. Louis isn't the only thing that has improved. The goaltending has finally began to get on the right path. 

Both Jake Allen and Carter Hutton have been playing lights out as of late. Hutton playing the first of the road trip in Philadelphia, Allen taking the three in the middle, and Hutton again to finish in Detroit.

Where did this come from?-

I hate to say this recent success is in part the result of the firing of the Head Coach, Ken Hitchcock; but, I think this is partially the case here. It's not uncommon for teams to respond well after a firing or change in the locker room.

Also, Hitchcock's coaching style is different than his predecessor Mike Yeo. Switching it up for the players may have had a positive impact on them. Yeo has a little more loose style of coaching and players are more free to play.

Not to take away anything from one of the best coaches in history, but the strict regimented gameplan that Hitchcock had in place. 

Will the success continue?-

If the goaltending can continue to improve and bring out their inner Martin Brodeur they should be fine. Brodeur, arguably the best goaltender in NHL history, is the goaltender coach for the Blues. With his expertise and lessons on being dominant between the pipes, both Hutton and Allen can only get stronger.

The blue line of St. Louis is second to no one in the league. Behind Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk's ability to go deep into the offensive zone is great. It puts pressure of the opposing team that makes the game much more difficult. 

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