Good morning Blues fans. The Blues got taken to school by a team that won’t even make the playoffs last night. Fortunately, there were still a few positives here or there.
The St. Louis Blues can thank their lucky stars they won’t be facing the Winnipeg Jets in the playoffs. If they had to, we might expect it to be a very short series.
The Blues and Jets faced each other five times and the Jets won each and every time. Only once could the Blues even collect a point from a game. Every other game, the Blues lost by two or more goals.
Hopefully, it is just one of those things. The Jets are definitely an offensively talented team, but they don’t possess anything that should particularly befuddle St. Louis more than any other team.
Last night it just seemed like we saw the return of the mid-season Blues. They were turning pucks over in awful spots on the ice, they looked tired, they had no jump and had no answer for everything the Jets threw at them.
Ryan Reaves tried to spark something a couple times, but the Jets weren’t biting at his bait. Additionally, the St. Louis fourth line had a terrible game.
All three fourth line forwards were a -2 for the game. While Kyle Brodziak was not officially credited with any giveaways, he had two chances where he failed to get rid of the puck and the play ended up in the back of the net.
Scottie Upshall had a few chances to score in the first period, but failed to connect on any of them. Granted, he is not expected to be a goal scorer for this team, but the way the season has gone, Upshall has been able to put some of those chances away along with his linemates. They looked like fourth liners against the Jets.
We should be grateful that the Blues have had such luck with their fourth line this season. Nobody is truly ripping on them, especially given the way they have been the team’s most consistent line.
However, consistency brings expectation. So, when the players don’t perform up to the standard they have set themselves, it stands out.
On top of it all, there was just a lot of bad luck. I was not online to see any of the reaction, but I’m sure the Jake Allen fan club – plenty of sarcasm there – was back in full force.
Allen was responsible for one of the goals and you’ll almost never hear that from me. Much like earlier in the season, he overextended and found himself outside the crease on the left side. There was not enough time to recover to stop the wraparound.
Outside of that, there was little Allen could do about any of the goals. The Jets’ third goal banked off two Blues defenders. There is just no accounting for something like that.
The disappointing thing was just the overall lack of effort. You could clearly see Mike Yeo go to Allen after he got benched and say it was not his fault. That shows great confidence in the goaltender, but also says that the team was just not up to snuff.
St. Louis had a chance to clinch third place in the division and instead allowed Nashville to have hope. Despite an overtime loss to the Islanders, the Preds are now just a point behind.
Thankfully, the Blues still have a game in hand as they might need it. Nashville faces Dallas next, while the Blues play Florida, who beat them convincingly despite a 2-1 score.
Fans must hope that, like Colorado, this was just one bad game. The Blues cannot afford to have any sustained failure at this point in the season.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
You might as well start calling Mike Yeo Nostradamus. The Blues coach had a feeling his team was due for another letdown and was proved to be right. (STLToday)
The NHL officially decided it will not participate in the 2018 Olympic games the other day. Like many players around the league, the guys on the Blues were very unhappy with the decision. (Post-Dispatch)
While there is no “official” word, there is enough smoke going around to believe that Paul Stastny has a broken foot or is, at least, more injured than we are led to believe. Whatever the case, it is another example of the NHL’s outdated injury reporting practices and the need for more transparency. (Bleedin’ Blue)
With the Chicago Wolves wrapping up their 2016-17 season, there might not be too much room to squeeze new players in. However, they may want to give this guy a look. After wrapping up a 94 point season with the Sarnia Sting, the Blues assigned prospect Jordan Kyrou to the AHL to help them in their playoff push. (Wolves)
In a feel good story, Bryan Bickell returned to the ice last night for the first time since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In typical fashion, he kept the focus more on the game as opposed to him. (NHL)
Despite an initial turn around when the Florida Panthers made a coaching change, the team was not impressed by Tom Rowe not making the playoffs. So, expect the Panthers to start another round of coaching carousel once the season ends. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!