NHL on NBCSN: Wild look to put road struggles behind them in St. Louis
NBCSN’s coverage of 2017-18 NHL season continues on Tuesday, as the St. Louis Blues host the Minnesota Wild at 8:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online by clicking here.
The Wild currently own the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. That’s pretty impressive considering how difficult things have been for them away from home. Heading into tonight’s tilt in St. Louis, they own a 10-15-1 record away from Xcel Energy Center.
Of all the teams currently in the postseason, only the Pittsburgh Penguins have as poor of a record (10-5-2) on the road this season.
To make matters worse, they’re coming off an ugly 6-1 loss in Dallas on Saturday night.
“We definitely change how we play when we get down like that on the road,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said, per the Minneapolis StarTribune. “Obviously, when you have confidence like we do at home, you just feel like you’re going to win every game so you don’t really think otherwise. That’s obviously not the case on the road right now. That’s when it becomes that much more important to just really focus and concentrate on being simple and playing our game.”
The last couple of weeks have gone relatively well for the Blues, as they’ve managed to rattle off six victories in their last eight games (they had a disappointing loss to Arizona during that stretch).
Goalie Carter Hutton has been a big reason for the Blues’ recent run of success. Hutton, who has been between the pipes for each of St. Louis’ last six wins, has overtaken Jake Allen as the team’s starter.
“This is not one or two weeks that he’s been playing well — he’s been playing at this level all season long,” head coach Mike Yeo said of Hutton’s success, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “So I think it would be very unfair to him to not give him that credit. And you have to say, maybe it is. He’s played behind some very good goaltenders. They all develop at a different rate, they all have a different timeline of when they reach their potential, when they reach their peak. And obviously, I don’t think any of us should see any reason why we shouldn’t give him that belief.”
The 32-year-old has a 14-4-1 record with a 1.61 goals-against-average and a .947 save percentage in 2017-18.
The Blues currently sit in third spot in the Central Division, but they’re just one point clear of Dallas, who is in the first Wild Card spot and six points clear of Minnesota, who has two games in hand.