ST. LOUIS - A much talked about storyline this season has been the Blues' ongoing search for an identity.
With three consecutive wins - two of them against top teams in the Western Conference - it's natural to wonder if perhaps the Blues are finding that identity as they enter the final stretch of the 2016-17 season.
"It's coming," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "We're getting more consistency in areas of our game, but it's not something we can just magically turn a switch and ask the players to be something we'd like them to be. That has to develop on it's own through consistent play. We think we're getting closer."
Last week, the Nashville Predators appeared to be pulling away in the race for third place in the Central Division, leaving the Blues to look at a Wild Card spot as their ticket to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But after three straight wins, the Blues find themselves just two points behind Nashville for third place in the Central with 16 games to go.
Nashville plays at San Jose this afternoon.
"It's always fragile this time of year," said goalie Carter Hutton, who will start tonight in tonight's 7 p.m. game against the New York Islanders (FSMW, KMOX). "You're in a dog fight every night. For us, it's been playoff hockey every night and we have to keep the mindset that every point is huge."
Video: Blues look to keep momentum rolling against Islanders
While the standings can certainly change in a hurry, Yeo is cautioning his team about getting too caught up in that.
"You don't have to look too far back to remember they can turn the other way in a hurry, too," Yeo said. "That should serve as some motivation for us. Let's concentrate on things we need to do to play our best game against a team that's been real hot."
The Islanders are coming off of a 4-3 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and are 5-2-1 on a nine-game, 19-day road trip that ends tonight in St. Louis. The team has climbed into the final Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference after going 14-6-3 since Jan. 17, when former Blue Doug Weight took over as the interim head coach. Weight played for the Blues in two stints from 2001-08.
"Since the coaching change, they're playing with an awful lot of confidence right now," Yeo said of the Islanders. "They're as hot as anybody and we're going to have to play our best."