After two months of the regular hockey season in 2013, the St. Louis Blues have been quite successful so far. The team has pulled together by working as a more fluid unit and has earned a great record of 18-5-3. Currently the Blues have 39 points and are in 4th position within the NHL. So, Blues fans, we only have 13 games remaining in our 2013 schedule. The coaching staff is most likely looking for opportunities that will allow the team to continue to shine. With that being said, every sports team needs improving at all levels and the St. Louis Blues are no different. So do the St. Louis Blues need changes to end the losing streak and win the next 13 games in 2013? What areas need improvement? How can the Blues continue to move up the ranks within the NHL to seize a comfortable spot in the playoffs and bring home the Stanley Cup in 2014? Can the successful St. Louis Blues end 2013 on a high note?Nov 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
A few areas that I think the team could improve upon is as follows:
more consistency on the ice – the team needs to be more focused so we are able to rush on the ice, protect the crease, and assist our teammates to establish a strong front on all areas of the ice. The team needs to be more consistent when applying pressure to help defensively/offensively against their opponents for the full 60 minutes of game time.
smarter passing – what I have noticed throughout this season is at times, the Blues tend to be a bit “pass happy” versus pushing the puck to the crease, which often results in missed scoring opportunities or turnovers, providing the opposing team more opportunities to score. I understand that the game of hockey is quite fast and often players need to make decisions on the fly. Of course, the team often tries to find the best home for the puck until someone has a clear shot for a goal. Sometimes I feel that the players appear hesitant or almost scared to take the shot and in turn, often pass to the next player instead of jumping on the opportunity to launch the puck to the net.
Watch penalty minutes – although the Blues are not leading the league in penalty minutes, we need to play harder during the power plays and limit penalties that allows our opponents the advantage of having more players on the ice. According to ESPN, we currently have a penalty killing percentage of approximately 84.6%.
After a five game winning streak, the Blues had two disappointing losses against San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Do you think the St. Louis Blues can bring back their winning streak by starting with the New York Islanders on December 5th? Will the Blues end the year with a bang?
Thankfully the Blues have a well rounded team that possesses plenty of potential to keep up the momentum that they have built thus far. With a few minor changes, the team could continue to build up their abilities to play a full 60 minutes using their powerful skills, dominance and physicality. The talent is there and ready for them to tap into when they are ready.
I hope the Blues can muster up the same spark that has fueled the fire under their skates so far this season because all of us fans are rooting for them to take down all opponents that cross their path, whether they visit us on home ice at Scottrade Center or we challenge them on their own territory. Let’s Go Blues!!