Blues Gain Late Season Momentum

Molly Farrar, A&E Editor

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The fans of the St. Louis Blues are unwavering ones. Through losses and successful seasons that seem to ultimately lead nowhere, they are still cheering in the Enterprise Center.

Junior Colin Salter, a hockey player at EHS, has been a Blues fan his whole life. As he watches their recent success, he attributes it to Ryan O’Reilly leading the offense and their stellar defense.

“Their goalie had been hot, and they’ve been finding ways to put the puck in the net,” he said.

This season marks O’Reilly’s first year in St. Louis, and he and fan-favorite Vladimir Tarasenko have been a powerhouse for the Blues so far this season, along with left wing Brayden Schenn.

“When they play well, Tarasenko and O’Reilly are unbelievable together,” junior Mark Tucker, also a EHS hockey player, said. “I would say our offense is pretty good and say it is a strength of ours.”

In September, the team started with a promising preseason, defeating the Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars. The season began in October with two overtime losses to the rival Chicago Blackhawks. According to junior Makenzi Keller, it wasn’t a promising start for starter Tarasenko either, but the front line fell into place later in the season.

“The O’Reilly, Tarasenko and Schenn top line has been a crucial offensive maker,” she said. “When all the forwards are healthy, the chemistry is undeniable and definitely one of the team’s strengths.”

In the midst of the late season momentum, the Blues now rank above rivals the Blackhawks in the Western Conference, Central Division. The top three teams in each conference division will go on to the playoffs, as well as a wild card spot for the fourth or fifth ranked team. As of March 13, the Blues rank No. 3, below the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators, but above both the Stars and the Blackhawks.

“I would love for them to win the (Stanley) Cup, but I’d be happy with them making it to the conference final,” Tucker said. “Watching them get knocked out in the second round almost every year is a little frustrating, but yes, I would be happy if they won the Stanley Cup.”

Last season, the Blues were eliminated in the playoffs on April 7 after losing to the Colorado Avalanche. To go all the way to the Cup, the Blues just need consistency, according to Keller.

“Some games they don’t play together as a team and need to finish better,” she said. “Other nights they seem to play the best hockey in the league.”