Like the rest of the Western Conference teams caught on the outside looking in, if they were simply able to switch conferences, they'd be a much more competitive, dare I say dominant group. Below are the conference splits for the Blues thus far in 2010.
The Blues have crushed Eastern Conference opponents, going 7-1 against them, yet they have struggled against the Western Conference, going 5-8-3, a 67 point pace. 14 of the Blues 27 points have come in 8 games against the Eastern Conference, while they've managed just 13 points against Western conference in 16 games. The Blues' dominance of teams in the East might be a product of their new goalie, an Eastern Conference veteran, and their woes against the West might be a product of that same goalie.
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Jaroslav Halak came to the Blues this summer in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. The Blues gave up promising young centerman Lars Eller and Ian Schultz to land Halak, Montreal's playoff hero in 2010. Halak's dominance in the East left Scott and I unsure about his long-term prospects, as the Eastern Conference has been the weaker conference for a number of years now. And it seems Halak is having a bit of trouble adjusting to the West.
He's still amazing against the East, posting a .951 even strength save percentage and a .946 overall, much like he did in last season's amazing playoff run. However, the falloff against Western Conference opponents is striking. A .902 even strength save percentage drags his overall save percentage down to .888, numbers that are neither starting goaltender material, nor trade material.
The Blues are not a roster loaded with talent, so as Jaroslav Halak goes, so will the Blues. The team plays in the toughest division in the NHL and plays 48 of their 58 remaining games against the Western Conference. Unless Halak can turn it around against the West, St. Louis looks like they are headed to a bottom ten finish.