To say the Blues’ 5-1 win over the Blackhawks on Saturday night is a turnaround from their previous loss to the Devils is an understatement. Maybe it was the rust that was gone, maybe it was the line tweaks, maybe it was just good old Chicago hate – whatever it was, the Blues had the look good. They limited the Blackhawks to just 15 shots on net with just one, a Dylan Strome goal, sneaking past Ville Husso.
Husso has improved to 10-3-1 this season, continuing to benefit from what appears to be better play from forwards and defense in front of him than Jordan Binnington has received this season. Of course, the reasons for Husso’s success and Binnington’s struggles go deeper than what we as fans perceive as “better” or “less confident” play from the rest of the team, but whatever the issues, there’s not much reason for Craig Berube to start Binnington tonight against Ottawa. There’s really no reason for him to change anything. Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist, and Brayden Schenn is in tears no matter who’s on his line – you have to go back to the January 24 disaster against the Calgary Flames to find a game where he didn’t make the game sheet. He has seven points (3G, 4A) in his last four games.
Tonight is the start of a four-game road trip for the Blues, with just one game – Saturday night against Toronto – against a team in playoff position. The Blues’ return to St. Louis with eight points isn’t a foregone conclusion, however – the Senators have a lot of fight in them. They defeated the Washington Capitals on Sunday, adding to the plummeting Caps woes. They’re 17-24-4 this season and beyond a long shot for the playoffs, but Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson are giving a glimpse of the Sens’ future, and it’s starting to show. a little better than it’s been a while. Former Penguin Matt Murray is having a decent season, all things considered — his 5-8-2 record isn’t much to talk about, but his .922 SV% is pretty stellar for a one-time goaltender. team that allows nearly 34 shots on goal on average.