Funny thing. The Blues welcomed back two primary players when they faced Columbus on Saturday — David Backes and Jordan Leopold. Now, one would think they would be desperate to get such players back, look upon their return as advantageous. But as it is, the Blues are just hoping the returnees don’t mess up a good thing. Sure enough, reinforcements notwithstanding, the Blues got off to a rough start. But in keeping with their recent resilience, they rallied to beat the Blue Jackets 6-2 at Scottrade Center. The victory allowed the surging Note to finish the first half of their schedule with a 29-7-5 mark, good for 63 points. It is the best 41-game mark in franchise history. The Blues have peeled off five consecutive wins and nine in 12 games. Most of the success has come while adapting to the absence of standouts like Backes, Leopold and Alexander Steen. In effect, less has been more. And while it seems silly to say, they don’t want more to be less. “The players that are coming back in ... we don’t need saving,”’ Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We don’t need David Backes or Alexander Steen to come in and save us. They just need to fit in. Our guys are bought into this way of playing and hopefully we can go on a long run with it.” Nothing fit initially against Columbus, which made no sense. Besides getting players back, the Blues have owned the Blue Jackets, beating them 12 of the last 15 meetings, six of the last seven at Scottrade. They have 23 more points in the standings than Columbus. They have a goaltender, Brian Elliott, who has a 13-game winning streak at home.
Blues battle back to beat Columbus
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Jan 5