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You can't help but think there is just something special happening with the Blues.

This isn't the same team that would cough up third-period leads last year, or would get caught watching the play, getting pushed off the puck, or getting pushed around physically.

No, this is a Blues team that has flipped last year's script and are doing to opponents what they fell victim to last year.

The Blues are frustrating teams to the extreme with their tight defense and their back-checking. Their forwards are coming back and helping out on defense. They smother teams in the neutral zone and there's always two guys around the player with the puck.

Even more incredible, the Blues are missing three of their starting defensemen, and thus have THREE rookies on the blueline. But you wouldn't know it if you didn't follow this team closely.

Here's the most amazing stat of all by the Blues: 4 third period goals allowed this season in 12 games.

The team which made a living coughing up leads is now the stingiest third period team defensively. THAT'S the biggest reason to their amazing turnaround. The Blues lost a total of 18 points last year, having either given up the lead and lost in overtime, losing out on a point, or giving up the lead and losing in regulation, losing both points.

Now, they're the ones pressuring the other teams, playing with confidence, physicality, speed and swagger.

Jaroslav Halak has been as advertised and much more. He gives the Blues confidence and purpose.

Halak's exceptional netminding inspires the Blues every single night. He makes electrifying saves, gets them out of trouble, and makes the critical stops late in games. He has even inspired backup goalie Ty Conklin, who stepped up and shut out the Rangers tonight.

The Blues are on an unbelievable stretch, winning 7 straight games and counting, and they're doing it with incredible defense, fantastic goaltending, and a locker room that seems to have an amazing chemistry.

One final note to conclude: The Blues have been so good this year, they have played great in their losses. All three having been by one-goal and an all-out war to the end. It just shows that the Blues have not taken a single night off this year and if teams want to come in and beat the Blues, they're going to have to give them their best game, because the Blues seem to be ready for a war every single night.
Filed Under:   Blues   St. Louis   NHL   New York   Rangers  
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