Despite lopsided victories in consecutive games, the St. Louis
Blues still have little hope of reaching the postseason. The
Minnesota Wild’s chances for a playoff berth have all but faded
away during their longest losing streak in franchise history.
The Wild will try to avoid extending that skid to nine when they
wrap up a home-and-home series Tuesday night with the Blues, who
will likely play without center T.J. Oshie.
After losing four of five, St. Louis beat Edmonton 4-0 at home
Thursday before a 6-3 win in Minnesota two days later.
Chris Stewart broke a 2-all tie with the first of his team’s
four consecutive goals, and the Blues outshot the Wild 47-16 after
posting a 30-12 advantage against the Oilers.
The victory pulled St. Louis (34-32-9) within a point of
Minnesota (35-32-8) in the Western Conference, but the Blues are
“We’ll keep playing hard until the end of the season whether
we’re eliminated or not. There’s a lot of pride in this room,” said
forward David Backes, who had a goal and an assist.
“Whether it’s Game 7 of the playoffs or game 75 that really has
no playoff implications, you’re looking for guys that are putting
it all out. We still have a pretty good group of 20 guys.”
One of those guys, Oshie, did not show up for practice Monday
and the Blues deemed it an unexcused absence. Coach Davis Payne
said he would speak with general manager Doug Armstrong about
possible discipline for Oshie, who had a goal and an assist against
Oshie will likely sit during St. Louis’ attempt to earn its
fourth victory in five home games. The Blues suspended Patrik
Berglund for one game last season after he overslept and missed a
The Wild tried to deal with their problems with a 30-minute,
closed-door meeting following Saturday’s game.
“I’ve said it before and there are probably questions out there,
but there’s character in the room. There’s leadership in the room,”
said coach Todd Richards, who refused to say what was
One issue Richards could have touched on is how to get more
scoring. The Wild have been outscored 37-12 during their 0-7-1
slide and 15-4 during a season-high four consecutive road
They fared much better in their previous trip to the Scottrade
Center on Feb. 11, a 5-4 shootout win that snapped a four-game
slide in St. Louis. Martin Havlat scored the tying goal with 57.6
seconds left in regulation and John Madden won it in the ninth
round of the shootout.
Cal Clutterbuck had two goals in that game and scored again to
help the Wild to a 3-1 win the next day and a sweep of the
home-and-home set. Antti Miettinen has scored three times this
season against St. Louis, including two goals Saturday.
Andrew Brunette had three assists in the loss, giving him eight
points in his last four games versus the Blues.
Berglund has scored in each of those contests.