St. Louis Blues Craig Berube Pushing Right Buttons But Waiting Too Long

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 12: St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube talks during a timeout against the Arizona Coyotes at Enterprise Center on March 12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 12: St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube talks during a timeout against the Arizona Coyotes at Enterprise Center on March 12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Blues seem to be making changes at the right time, thanks to Craig Berube. However, he is skating the line between timing it right and waiting too long.

St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube deserves a ton of credit for how the Blues have turned things around this season. We’ve all heard the tales and how unbelievable it is that St. Louis went from the worst team in the NHL to one of the best.

Berube is not the only reason the team turned things around. The players finally started playing up to their potential and expectations.

Still, it cannot be discounted the vibe that Berube brought in there. It was not an overnight turnaround, but Berube managed to fix the locker room, which felt like it was unfixable.

He sorted out their issues and basically told them to man up. It did not sit well with everyone, but it eventually sank in.

We have seen some issues popping back up here or there. Guys are tired or underperforming.

We have seen David Perron start to get a little mouthy in the press too. Through it all, Berube keeps his calm and manages to push the right buttons.

He tweaked the lines in the Winnipeg series just when it seemed like the Jets were getting a foothold in the series. The end result was two straight wins for the Blues to close out the series 4-2.

He made some lineup tweaks again in the Dallas series and had slightly more mixed results. The changes to the lines were mostly ineffective, but then Berube had the guts to insert Sammy Blais for Game 6.

The energy Blais brought, combines with his physicality and overall better play by the entire team had a huge impact on the game. Blais’ goal is almost an afterthought. Again, the players deserve the lion’s share of the credit, but it takes a wise coach to know when to make these switches.

The issue is that Berube seems to wait so long. Making changes to the lineup is all about timing, so you cannot do it too quick or it could have the opposite affect as intended.

That said, Berube seems to wait until the last possible minute. The Blues had not had a good game against the Stars until Game 6. Berube waited until Game 5 to make any change and then until Game 6 to actually insert new blood into the lineup.

The danger is that the affect is too slow. You run the risk that Blais provides a spark, but it was not enough in that game but might have made a difference later in the series. However, when you make the change in an elimination game, you don’t have that luxury of a slow change.

It was close to being the same in the Winnipeg series. Berube made some changes, but the Jets almost and perhaps should have taken Game 5.

You could see things going wrong, but he’s had the coach’s mentality of hoping things would change without a major tweak. Luckily he has not actually stuck with things so long that it truly cost the Blues yet.

In the end, all we can do is trust Berube’s judgment. We are just fans and have no control over those things.

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Sometimes that’s probably for the best. Nevertheless, it is hard not to worry that one of these days the changes will come too late.