The Blues were a bit cold when they arrived in Manitoba, frozen in place by a string of uncharacteristic performances and three losses in four games.

Where better to warm up again than Winnipeg, where St. Louis seems like a tropical paradise, where Tim Horton’s popular coffee can be served on a stick these days, where the wind chill was minus-22 at game time Tuesday?

Sure enough, the Blues adjusted the thermostat and put some heat back into the environment with a 2-1 victory over the Jets.

The win came via a better performance and two odd goals, by Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk. The latter, scored with 3:02 remaining, proved the difference. So, if nothing else, the Blues’ luck might be changing.

But it was more than luck.

“I really like the way we fought,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “As the game wore on, our confidence came back to fight for pucks and battle.

“I thought the debris from what’s happened here in the last week or so started to eliminate. We just started to get our spirit back and really battle.”

Hitchcock came to Winnipeg looking for big-picture clues, indications that more members of his group were ready to throw down, evidence his “blue-collar Blues” have re-dedicated themselves to the glamor-less art of checking the puck first and checking the stats later.

“We’re in the rough seas, where if you expect to have 25 guys all of a sudden buy in right away, it’s not going to happen,” Hitchcock said. “You inch it along, you get a little bit better, a little bit better.”

This certainly was better.

“It was back and forth the whole game, especially the first and second,” Steen said. “I felt like we had good pushes. They had a couple off power plays in the third period, but other than that I thought we held our own for the most part.”

With size and speed, Winnipeg is no bargain. The Jets were coming off a 14-day trip in which they won four of six games, playing at home for the first time in 17 days. That’s to say nothing of the cabin fever your average Jets-setter builds up in the arctic environment. There was plenty of “Go, Jets, go” venting.

The Achilles heel during the Blues’ recent swoon has been suicidal starts. They also have demonstrated a surprising inability, given their offensive credentials, to come from behind. The team is winless when trailing after the first period this season (0-5-2), 1-5-2 when behind after two.

On the flip side, the Blues are 19-1-2 when scoring first. Blues captain David Backes and his mates knew, given the circumstances, a bad start would be flirting with disaster.