The St. Louis Blues had dome some really good things over the last week or so. Much of it got thrown in the garbage can in one game out east.
Let us hope and pray that the St. Louis Blues would not face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final this season. In two games against the Flyers, the Blues had some of their worst hockey played in 2017-18.
The Blues came out lethargic and slow. There was no energy, no jump and nothing to give anyone any indication that they might win the game.
St. Louis came alive in the third period. However, by that point it was far too late.
The disappointing thing about this game was not just the loss. The fact that the Blues played so well in their last victory, which made a three game winning streak, just did not mesh with how poorly they played in this one.
It begins to boggle the mind that any one team can look unbeatable in one game and like a lottery team (if the NHL had such a thing) the next.
Yet, St. Louis is that team. In this game, we saw some of the worst.
This one stunk right from the start.
The Blues just didn’t have it from the beginning. They had a paltry seven shots in the first and it was not until about halfway through the period that they got beyond three.
St. Louis only had nine shots in the second period as well. They gave up 16 and 13 in those respective periods.
The Blues finally got to double-digit shots in one period during the third. They also scored some goals in that period as well. It was too little, too late though.
Ivan Barbashev finally scored.
It took 44 games, but Barbashev finally registered his first point in 2017-18.
However, Barbashev is still too good for it to have taken this long for him to get a goal.
Now, it does have to be said that, technically, it took Barbashev 15 games to get his first goal. Still, he had not earned more playing time.
For him to finally get his first goal was deserved given how he’s played of late. It was also important as it gave the Blues a bit of life.
The Blues left Jake Allen out to dry.
What upsets me, personally, about this game is that the haters have more ammunition to encourage their ridiculous idea that Allen should be benched and Carter Hutton should be the starter. Nevermind the fact that Hutton has never played even half a season.
Both sets of announcers even mentioned it. Kelly Chase specifically said that you cannot pin this game on Allen. Darren Pang, who is about as positive as you can get, even said the Blues hung Allen out to dry.
However, despite the fact I was off social media for the day, I am sure there were some out there saying the Blues would have won if Hutton started.
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They forget that the Blues allowed 29 shots against in two periods and many of those were prime scoring opportunities. The Blues had so many odd man rushes against, it was ridiculous.
Even the Blues power play kept giving up chances the other way.
We’ve gone beyond stats and who likes whom. The Blues need to get their head out of their rears and play for the snake again. He deserves better, whether you like him or not.
The Blues kept coming.
We can whine and moan about how poorly they played for two periods, but for one period, they were the better team. They outscored 2-1 in the third, if you do not count the empty net goal.
St. Louis needed that boost from the period to give them at least a little momentum going into their game against Washington.
Again, it came too late in the day for it to matter in the grand scheme. However, the team had to know they were playing terribly. Perhaps showing a little gumption and drive was enough to kick into gear for their next game.
The terrible team returned.
As a fan, it gives you a sick feeling in your stomach to turn on your team. However, even the most positive among us cannot turn a blind eye when the team plays poorly.
The thing that drives the steak into people is the fact that this team rarely loses when it plays well. The vast majority of their losses have been a failure to even show up.
As Chris Kerber pointed out during the radio broadcast, you can give the team credit for never truly being out of most games. His point was the team has only looked like they had no chance in this game and the Florida loss. I might contend there were one or two others, but that is a moot point.
What is still disheartening is that this team continues to find ways to not perform. They’re either trying too hard or not hard enough. They figure out what it takes to win and then cannot sustain that for more than three games or so.
St. Louis does lead the league in winning streaks of three games or more, but they cannot seem to turn those streaks into long periods of wins. Fortunately, the losses have not come in bunches either, but this team has to get things figured out.
The power play is awful and the penalty kill is a thrill ride. The offense has become feast or famine, with the feasts only consisting of two goals, three if you’re lucky.
Perhaps the idea that this team can beat any team when they put their mind to it is the most frustrating. They could not score a power play goal against one of the worst PK’s in the league and got taken to school against a team not even in the playoff spot at the moment.
St. Louis will get things on track, but these games make it difficult to think they’ll be built for the long haul come spring.