Overlooked factor this year: No Eastern Conference opponents
Last season, the Blues went 14-2-2 against the Eastern Conference, earning a total of 30 out of 36 possible points. To say that the Blues dominated the East would be an understatement. They did not even lose a game in regulation against the East until late February, and both of their "loser point" losses were shootouts. The Blues style of play matches up perfectly against the Eastern Conference style(except for Boston, one of the teams the Blues lost in regulation to last year). If the blues had played 10 games against the East this year, I think is pretty safe to assume that they would have taken at least 15 out of a 20 possible points against them, and that is a conservative estimate.
Going even further, we could evenly distribute those 10 eastern conference games among our schedule by simply eliminating 1 game against from our non-divisional opponents in the western conference. This would leave the us with 2 games against each of our non divisional opponents, the same amount of games against divisional opponents(5 against DET, CHI, 4 against NSH, CBJ), and 10 games against eastern conference opponents. The Blues have fared pretty well against divisional opponents this year so far, posting a 10-5-0 record, but our record against non divisional opponents has been average at best, 12-9-2. Therefore it would have worked out even further in our advantage if the season was structured that way, and I think it is safe to say that the Blues may be as much as 6 or 7 points higher in the standings than they are right now, with a pretty firm grip on the 4th seed.
Of course this is purely speculation, but I believe it is still something worth noting that has been overlooked by a lot of people.
I don't think its been overlooked, we all know we owned them and we all know we didn't play too well against division rivals
but nothing is safe to assume this year, if we play games like we did earlier there is no single team in the league we would dominate and I'm pretty glad how things worked out and we have to fight our way in the POs thru alot of games against central teams and temas that play our style
but yes , you are right, the way we play lately eastern conference teams would fit our style just perfectly