St. Louis Blues Must Clean Up Game With No Practice Time

St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) and goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) and goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues are off to a reasonable start to the 2021 season. There is no doubt they have plenty of wrinkles they have to iron out, however.

Despite finally getting on the board, the power play is still somewhat of a mess. The Blues have defensive holes and are turning the puck over too much in their own zone.

St. Louis still has not gotten on the same page with all four lines. Certain players are on point and others are still feeling their way through things, such as Mike Hoffman figuring out his place in this Blues lineup.

You can tell the talent is there. The team’s opening night win over Colorado still reigns supreme as their best team effort and they throttled one of the league’s championship favorites.

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The issue is we have not seen that same effort up and down the lineup since then. Suddenly there are injury issues guys are working through and the constant line shifting is not helping chemistry.

The line shifting is as much due to the penalty problem as anything. If you’re literally keeping Ryan O’Reilly on the ice for a full two minutes, then the rest of the lineup gets shuffled around while he recovers.

But, what’s the big deal if these are all problems that just need a tweak here or some practice tie there? The problem is the Blues will not have much time to practice coming up.

Fans will say whoopidy doo, 14 games in 24 days. That’s 10 days without a game.

The bigger matter is that just because you have 10 days without a game in that stretch does not mean you can have 10 meaningful practices. Some of those off days will be taken up by travel and other days you simply need to give guys time off to heal as opposed to grinding them into dust.

If you need to work on the power play, but Colton Parayko is being held out to heal up, you’re missing the quarterback on one of your units.

As Kerber pointed out, even past the two days off in February, the Blues have no other break that long for 42 days. So, it’s going to be a put some duct tape on it kind of scenario.

Next. Blues inconsistencies could wear down Binnington. dark

The Blues won’t be able to truly fix problems through practice. They will have to do it on the fly.