posted on March 04, 2013 07:21
The Monday Morning Scrappy Utilityman
70% of insideSTL voters said that the Blues will make the playoffs in our poll over the weekend.
And, that very well may be the case, but I don’t think it’s as done of a deal as many---especially myself---thought heading into the season and a couple of weeks into the season.
Clearly, there’s a backup goaltender issue, and after yesterday afternoon in Dallas, that issue looks even larger than before.
The soft goal on the Stars’ second score was horrendous.
The Blues haven’t won a Brian Elliot-started game since January 31st.
And then there’s the issue of the team’s scoring.
The Blues scored at least two goals in all of their first eight games and three goals in seven of their first eight games.
These days, the Blues have scored one goal or less in four of their last six and two goals or less in five of their last six.
Now it’s off to the West Coast…and they won’t be back at the Scottrade Center until a week from tomorrow night. By that time, we’ll be past the halfway point of the season.
As it stands right now, the Blues are one of five teams tied for fourth place with 24 points.
They’re only four points up on 14th place Edmonton…but they’re 17 points back of Central Division-leading Chicago.
Yeah, there have been injuries…but it’s hard to understand how what’s basically the same team from last year is performing as disappointing as of late as this one is.
Another game…another win. Saint Louis U. had to come back to beat George Washington Saturday, but when it was all said and done, they made it 11 in a row with a 66-58 victory.
CBS has the Billikens at SLU at #17. Seth Davis of SI.com has them at #16.
Former Billiken Chris Sloan texted me Saturday and said there was a “Let’s Go Bills” chant throughout The Smith Center at George Washington.
It’ll be a test Wednesday night at Xavier, but the Musketeers just lost at home Saturday to UMass. With as well as Saint Louis U. is playing, the Billikens winning out---all the way through the A-10 Tournament---is not impossible.
I would say it’s a 33% chance…as I arbitrarily allocate probability. But, a loss at Xavier is a legitimate possibility…and it’s not like LaSalle is a given. They’re in third place in the A-10…but I have a tough time believing the Billikens will lose on Senior Day in the final home game of such an emotional season.
Then it gets down to being able to pull off winning on three straight days to win The A-10 Tournament. You know the song and dance with conference tournaments. It’s a crapshoot.
However, with as well as they’re playing, I can’t rule out anything.
If they win out, you’re talking about a 28-5 team on a 16-game winning streak.
For my money, that’s better than a #4 seed.
But, first things first…wrap up The A-10 regular season title by winning Wednesday night at Xavier.
The Tigers at home continue to be a different---and much better---team than the Tigers on the road.
Their opponent tomorrow night, however, is much worse on the road.
Whereas the Tigers have two SEC road wins, Arkansas has one…road win total this year.
I’d be quite surprised if Missouri---with its new focus on getting the ball inside and Laurence Bowers playing with confidence---doesn’t beat the Razorbacks by a comfortable margin.
The Tigers are a handful of points from being undefeated since the ass-kicking in Gainesville January 19th. But, every one of their wins since then---with the exception of Florida---have been rather comfortable.
I’m quite intrigued by how this whole thing winds up playing out in the NCAA Tournament for both Saint Louis U. and Missouri.
It’s wide open, and odds are both will be playing a big-time opponent in the second round…should they make it of course.
Dream scenario: Missouri vs. Kansas in Kansas City in the second round.
That’s actually what Joe Lunardi has in his most recent Bracketology. #1 seed KU. #8 seed Missouri. If the Tigers win…you have the matchup Bill Self refuses to play…but most members of both fan bases want.
I’ll take the dream scenario a step further. Saint Louis U. in the same region. As a #4.
The Tigers beat KU in the second round…and Missouri and Saint Louis U. play in the Sweet 16.
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