Craig Berube will have a better idea of where the St. Louis Blues stack up when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Honda West Division after playing at the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday and Saturday.
Berube, the Blues coach, joined the “NHL @TheRink” podcast on Thursday and gave co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke a rundown of what he thinks the Blues could be up against this weekend and in the upcoming playoffs.
St. Louis is 2-3-1 against Vegas this season, and has been outscored 26-14 in the six games. The Blues would face the Golden Knights in the first round if the playoffs began today.
“They’re big games,” Berube said. “This is the first year where I find Vegas has been better than us against us. I find that we’re finding ways to lose to them. We’re not aggressive enough against them in my opinion right now and we need to be starting tomorrow.”
The Blues can clinch a playoff berth as the fourth-place team in the eight-team West Division on Friday, which would set them up for a first-round matchup against the Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche or Minnesota Wild.
The Golden Knights, Avalanche and Wild already have clinched playoff berths. All three still are capable of finishing in first place. The top four teams in the division qualify for the postseason.
The Blues are 3-5-0 against the Avalanche, but won their past two games against them, on April 24 and 26, by a combined 9-4.
“We played Colorado pretty well,” Berube said. “We beat them the first game of the year (4-1 on Jan. 13), then we got blown out the second game (8-0 on Jan. 15), but I think the games have been pretty good other than that. We do OK against Colorado.”
The Blues have been better against the Wild, going 4-1-1 with two games against them remaining.
“The team that we play the best against this year is Minnesota,” Berube said. “I just like the style of game we play against them. I like the competitiveness against them. Our team seems to be more engaged against them than any team for some reason, so I don’t know if that’s the best matchup for us or not.”
In addition to talking with Berube about the Blues and the West Division playoff picture, Rosen and Roarke discussed several of the big topics of this week in the NHL.
They talked about the changes in the New York Rangers’ front office, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid‘s push for 100 points in 56 games, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie‘s emotional hat trick at the New York Rangers on Wednesday and the feel-good story of Buffalo Sabres goalie Michael Houser.
The “NHL @TheRink” podcast is free and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @TheRink