While most of the attention on the Blues so far in 2016-17 has been on their lack of offense, another important story to follow has been on the team’s inability to stay out of the penalty box. So far, the Blues have been shorthanded 33 times (7th in the NHL) and have put their penalty killers to the test repeatedly over the past several contests. The PK has been up to the task, but when will the penalties catch up to the Blues?
The team’s PK currently has a 93.9% success rate which is second-best in the NHL. Simply, the PK has been awesome and it’s a big reason (along with the defense and goaltending) that the Blues have collected the points that they have and aren’t sitting with a losing record.
Looking back to last season, the Blues had a 85.1% rate on the PK which was third in the NHL. The best PK in the league last year belonged to the Anaheim Ducks who were successful 87.2% of the time. Neither of those are anywhere close to the insane clip the Blues have going so far this season. In other words, the Blues realistically won’t be able to sustain their current success rate and should plan on the law of averages popping up in the very near future. What can they do about it? Stay out of the box.
To be fair, the Blues have already had quite a few borderline calls go against them. There’s really no arguing that fact considering the light calls the past few games, but there’s nothing the Blues can do about those calls. What they can do is cut down on the obvious infractions. If the current trend indicates the roster will be called for the lightest of penalties, go out of your way to avoid the most obvious penalties. Show some discipline on the ice and give the PK a break.
The PK has been awesome, but those numbers will come back down to Earth. The only thing the Blues can do is try and stay out of the box.