The St. Louis Blues took on the Calgary Flames and fell by the score of 4-1. The problem, outside of the score, was those looked like impostors wearing Blues uniforms.
The St. Louis Blues were supposed to have a rematch with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. The only problem was the St. Louis Blues did not show up.
Whatever we saw, whoever was on the ice is not the Blues that we know. It was not even a reasonable facsimile.
Impostors. Charlatans. Fakes or frauds. Take your pick.
Kelly Chase was doing his best to chalk it up to to the western Canada trip. I have traveled across country, so I know that it can take quite a bit out of you. Still, that isn’t an excuse for having almost zero jump.
The Blues had two days off after their Saturday game in Calgary. That’s at least a full 24 hours where you aren’t playing or travelling.
Given the Blues had relative health going into the Calgary game (outside a random injury to Dmitrij Jaskin that did not keep him out of the lineup), so we just expected more.
The Blues lost the game and that’s fine. It’s an 82 game schedule and you’re going to lose to teams you should not lose to.
It’s part of the game. It’s the lack of effort and lack of any edge to their game that was disheartening.
The Blues didn’t come out with any jump in the first period. They only had five shots on goal in the opening frame. That’s just not going to cut it.
Six shots in the second period was not much better. Let that sink in.
11 shots through two periods. It isn’t just the lack of shots either.
The Blues defense was either standing flat-footed or backing off. What jumps into these players minds to make them back off when that seems to do nothing but concede goals is beyond me.
Calgary Should Have Been Ripe Pickings
The Blues should have been able to have their way with the Flames. Despite some shaky goaltending of their own on the weekend, they dominated proceedings in the prior game.
This time, the Flames were coming off a tough game against Chicago on Monday night. Brian Elliott played in both games, was peppered by Chicago in the waning moments and the game went seven rounds in the shootout.
Calgary should have been the team with nothing in the tank. The Blues should have been rested, regardless of their trip.
Instead, the Blues come out flat. The Blues we know usually find a way to fight and comeback even when they aren’t playing up to snuff.
Instead, they didn’t show any life until they scored a five-on-three powerplay goal. Even then, it wasn’t a real rally.
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The Blues got more shots on goal (13 in the third period). However, they still didn’t trouble Elliott enough.
Elliott played well enough to get the win, but he was not anything special. He fumbled a lot of rebounds, was beaten on a handful of shots that hit the post and looked a little more antsy when the Blues picked up the pace in the third.
Even so, the Blues just didn’t get the job done because they didn’t come to play.
Let that take nothing away from the Flames. They picked up two big wins in two days.
They showed up. They had energy and beat two of the tougher teams in the Central Division and perhaps the entire conference.
They realized that the Blues were not going to pressure as much as you would expect and took advantage. They did their job.
This game is not the end of the world, but it is disappointing. You’re going to get games like this throughout the year, but you would not think it would come so early in the year.
The problem that is worrying is the Blues seem to have too many of these types of games at home. Even Ken Hitchcock pointed that out.
Blame the coach if you want (plenty will and do). The fact is that the Blues have had these problems for years.
Not necessarily the home ice thing, but in general. No matter who the coach is, they seem to dump and chase, they back off the puck unnecessarily and the entire team has bad games.
That’s what is a little mind boggling. It’s almost impossible to have an entire team on during any given night, but when they are bad, the entire team seems to be bad instead of just a few guys here or there.
St. Louis could easily wipe the slate clean and shut us whiners up with a couple wins later in the week. They’re going to need to play a lot harder though.