The Blues started fast this season and they haven’t slowed down. They moved seven games over .500 (9-2-2) by winning at Montreal Tuesday night.
Unfortunately, several Western Conference rivals are also winning at a breakneck pace. This side of the NHL is much better than the other side, allowing the top Central and Pacific Division teams to build gaudy records.
The Blackhawks are 7-0-2 against Eastern Conference teams. The Avalanche (7-1), Ducks (7-2-1), Sharks (5-1-1), Coyotes (5-1-1) and Canucks (7-3-1) have also worn out teams on the other side.
Western Conference teams dominated the NHL’s early season power rankings. A team that missed the playoffs last season, Colorado, has been the best team in the league so far this season.
So the Blues (who are 4-1 vs. the East) can’t afford to ease up. They are just one of eight Western Conference teams five or more games over .500.
And because the Blues have played the fewest games among contenders, they rank eighth in the conference with 20 points.
That is insanity.
Remember when the NHL was a 21-team league with 16 playoff spots? Those were happy days for coaches.
Teams with losing records could reach postseason play and make a run. Those days are long, long gone.
Fortunately the Blues appear capable of keeping pace. Here are the early positives from their first 13 games.