Blues can’t stop winning

Linsey Sparks , Co-Editor

On Feb. 19, the St. Louis Blues set a franchise record of their longest winning streak ever. The streak lasted an impressive 11 games, beating the previous record of 10 set in January 2002. The record-breaking game was played against the Toronto Maple Leafs ending in a 3-2 Blues victory. Ryan O’Reilly scored the game winning goal 34 seconds into overtime.

The team had not been meeting expectations for the majority of the season and was ranked lower than the fans would’ve liked. But the streak brought hockey interest back to St. Louis.

“[The streak] made me excited to watch them because they were so bad before,” said Elijah Ballard, senior. “It was like a rebirth because of Jordan Binnington.”

Binnington started out ranked as the number four goalie for the Blues, so starting him was not what people were expecting. But when Ville Husso got injured and Chad Johnson was placed on waivers by the Blues and then picked up by the Anaheim Ducks, Binnington had to step up to the plate (or the ice, more like it). Binnington starting was a big game changer for the Blues. Even Mitchell Marner (forward for the Maple Leafs) had great things to say about Binnington.

That goalie there is playing unbelievable,” Marner said to about Binnington. “He’s playing unbelievable for them.”

The streak helped bring the Blues back into serious competition for the playoffs and the Stanley Cup. The team is currently ranked third in the Central Division only below the Nashville Predators (ranked second) and the Winnipeg Jets (ranked first).

Since the streak ended, the Blues have lost six of their last 10 games. That could be partially because of Brayden Schenn missing six games between Feb. 23 and Mar. 6 due to an upper-body injury. As soon as he got back from injured reserve, the team won two of those three games.

Schenn was put back on the ice on Mar. 6 for the game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Duck’s home, the Honda Center. Since then he has had a three-game, five point streak (consisting of two goals and three assists). The return of Brayden Schenn could be a major boost for the team. But when one door opens another always closes.

In the Mar. 7 game against the LA Kings, Vladimir Tarasenko suffered an upper-body injury and missed the Mar. 9 game against the San Jose Sharks. His injury will be re-evaluated in 10 days, meaning he will miss the next four games at least. But this isn’t the first time Tarasenko has been injured and it definitely won’t be the last so the team can make it through to better days if they try hard enough.

All in all, the Blues had a really bad patch of games there for a while, but February brought some peace of mind and more hope than fans had been given in a long time. And even with injuries and game losses, they could really have a shot at the playoffs this year if they keep up the energy they’ve had so far.