Blues open road swing in San Jose
Posted on: 16 Nov, 2023 at 07:36 AM
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
After eight games, the St. Louis Blues were 3-4-1 with just 15 goals scored. Then they won five of their next six games while outscoring opponents 27-12.
They defeated the Avalanche 8-2 in Denver on Saturday, then blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 at home Tuesday.
So the Blues are feeling good heading into their four-game western road swing, which starts Thursday in San Jose against the Sharks at SAP Center.
"We're building some confidence," Blues defenseman Torey Krug said. "I think we're trusting our D-zone and a lot of times when you take care of things in the D-zone, it leads to offense, and that's what you're seeing. Guys are committed to playing a full 200 feet."
Center Robert Thomas has led the way for the Blues. He has five goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak and he leads the team in scoring with 16 points overall.
Several other Blues have caught fire after suffering slow offensive starts.
Captain Brayden Schenn has five goals and four assists in his last five games after producing no goals and one assist in his first nine games.
Winger Pavel Buchnevich has three goals and three assists in his last three games after scoring just one goal and earning two assists in the first nine games. Winger Jordan Kyrou has three goals and three assists in his last five games after scoring just one goal with two assists over the first nine games.
On defense, Justin Faulk has six assists in his last six games after recording just one assist through eight games. And Krug has a goal and five assists in his last four games after failing to record a point in the first 10 games.
"Right now, on both sides of the puck, I feel good," Krug said. "It's about bottling it up and try to continue and don't get complacent and satisfied. Just continue to practice hard, and keep it going."
The Sharks have staggered to a 2-13-1 start. But in their last three home games, they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1, defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 and played the Florida Panthers tough during a 5-3 loss.
Sharks coach David Quinn is seeing progress with his team, which is facing a long-haul rebuild.
"There were a lot of good signs overall throughout the (Florida) game," Quinn said after the loss Tuesday. "But against a team of that caliber, you've got to make sure that you're thorough in all areas for 60 minutes."
The Sharks were up 3-2 in the third period, but the Panthers scored a power-play goal to tie the game before pulling away late.
"We had the lead in the third period, and then we take a penalty, they take advantage of it," said Sharks forward Mike Hoffman, who scored his first goal of the season in that game. "We kept fighting and we never gave up. We got a couple of chances to tie it, but that wasn't enough."
Center Tomas Hertl leads the Sharks in scoring with 11 points in 16 games. He has two goals and four assists in his last six games.
--Field Level Media