The Blues defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in front of 16,146 at Scottrade Center on Thursday, becoming the winningest regular-season team in the 46-year history of the franchise. The victory also pulled the Blues even in points with Boston atop the NHL standings. They have played one less game than the Bruins. With its 52nd victory, the club (52-17-7) climbed over the 1999-2000 Blues with six games still to play. Keep in mind, the NHL did not adopt the overtime shootout concept until 2005. Before that, ties were not broken. This edition of the Blues has nine wins in shootouts and 11 in overtimes. The 1999-2000 team, coached by Joel Quenneville and anchored by the dynamic defensive duo of Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger, had five overtime wins and 11 ties in its record. “I think it’s a nice record but it’s an improper evaluation,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said, mindful of the environmental change. “I don’t think it’s fair to that group that got those 51 wins. “Because I know that group, they were not fun to play against. I coached against those (Blues) teams that got the big points, and they were awesome teams here, awesome.” The 1999-2000 team also finished with a franchise record 114 points. These Blues are at 111 points. Interestingly enough, if they can beat the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, they would play in Chicago on Sunday with a chance to surpass the points mark against Quenneville’s Blackhawks. One is hard-pressed to get a member of the organization to crow about the record win total. The mission this spring has only a loose association with regular-season achievements. As “awesome” as the 1999-2000 team was, it is most notable for two things: It won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record in the NHL, and it was eliminated by San Jose in the opening round of the playoffs. The Blues appreciate the ambiguity.
Blues claim team-record 52nd victory
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Apr 4