Prior to any action on December 22, 2018, the St. Louis Blues have played 33 games on their 2018-19 schedule. That 33-game total is tied for the fewest number of games played in the NHL.
What’s my point? For better or worse the Blues have a lot of hockey left to play this season.
The Blues aren’t even halfway through their schedule. That may seem hard to believe considering how mentally draining the current season has been to date. The Blues’ 13-16-4 record after 33 games has aged fans at least a few years and has produced more than a few angry Twitter rants. Their 12 bench penalties have surpassed their eight from all of last season and may be responsible for a few broken remotes.
How will any of us survive the next 40+ games?
Staying optimistic, the Blues have more than enough time to try and turn their season around. They’ve hovered near the bottom of the standings and have yet to play their best hockey. They’re still mathematically in the running for a playoff spot and could string together some lengthy winning streaks to right their record. Something crazy could happen. There’s still time.
This could be a grueling few months. The Blues’ pattern of winning one or two games before getting completely blown out of the water could keep on rolling. They could show a few glimpses of decent hockey before falling back into their infuriating bad habits. The worst could still be ahead of us.
The Blues look more like a team needing a full rebuild than a team needing a piece or two. Rumors have swirled suggesting the Blues could trade some major pieces, altering the look of the franchise as we know it.
A little over 30 games can seem like an eternity when things aren’t going well. For the Blues, the start of 2018-19 has felt like a prolonged punishment where no one is listening to the fans cry “Uncle!” through their tears. Still, that’s a small number of games to make decisions that could implement the organization for years to come – such as a trade involving Vladimir Tarasenko.
The Blues are in a precarious position. They have to do something to try and improve for the future. But, and this is an important but, they can’t make a knee-jerk decision they’ll learn to regret. This is a critical time for the team’s front office.
Strap in. For better or worse the 2018-19 season has a lot of hockey left.