Just how much of a Cup contender are the St. Louis Blues?

As we near the outset of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, we ask a question: how much of a contender are the St. Louis Blues?

Since late November of 2018, I’ve tried to make the argument that the biggest question surrounding the St. Louis Blues concerns the club’s structural makeup. Quietly one of the NHL’s most prominent buyers over the course of the past summer — adding the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Patrick Maroon and David Perron — the Blues sought to quash all memory of its absence from the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, and instead aimed to translate disappointment into glory.

Yet much of the team’s 2018-19 campaign has been underlined by learning curves — namely the twofold challenge of (a) mastering systems under interim coach Craig Berube and (b) teasing out the intricacies of a new mix of players.

Queue the emergence of Jordan Binnington onto the NHL scene. In just 21 games, the 25-year-old has posted a 15-3-1 record, a 1.68 GAA, a .933 SV%, and five shutouts. You can bet that he’ll continue to ride this tidal wave of confidence in the weeks to come, as the Blues gear up for a run at Lord Stanley’s trophy. And if you’re buying what they’re selling, you’ll note that St. Louis shall almost definitely regard the playoffs for what they are — an opportunity to put any and all doubts to rest for good.

Here’s a look at what’s in store for the remainder of the Blues’ schedule.

  • March 6 — Anaheim Ducks (away)
  • March 7 — Los Angeles Kings (away)
  • March 9 — San Jose Sharks (away)
  • March 12 — Arizona Coyotes (home)
  • March 14 — Ottawa Senators (away)
  • March 16 — Pittsburgh Penguins (away)
  • March 17 — Buffalo Sabres (away)
  • March 19 — Edmonton Oilers (home)
  • March 21 — Detroit Red Wings (home)
  • March 23 — Tampa Bay Lightning (home)
  • March 25 — Vegas Golden Knights (home)
  • March 29 — New York Rangers (away)
  • March 30 — New Jersey Devils (away)
  • April 1 — Colorado Avalanche (home)
  • April 3 — Chicago Blackhawks (away)
  • April 4 — Philadelphia Flyers (home)
  • April 6 — Vancouver Canucks (home)

We’ve all heard the narrative before — the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are already looking ahead to what promises to be a second-round matchup for the books. But make no mistake: the Blues might just complicate mainstream assumptions.

After all, they’ve got the perfect blend of talent and momentum to do so.