St. Louis Blues Must Have Patient Urgency

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (47) and goaltender Ville Husso (35)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (47) and goaltender Ville Husso (35)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues are in an odd situation as they progress through the early portion of the 2021 season. They need to get their act in gear, so to speak, but they cannot rush things or hit the panic button either.

If you think about it, they are in the Hollywood film situation. It’s a lot of hurry up and wait right now.

On the one hand, the team needs results. Six games in, they have already played 10% of their season. Once they hit 10 games, there will only be four more 10-game sections left in the season. That’s not a lot of games left and there are serious things they have to get cleaned up.

Defensively, the team is a mess. Unless the goaltender is standing on his head for 60-plus minutes, they don’t give you any indication they could shut out any opponent.

That’s not solely on the actual defenders though. The Blues pride themselves on being a hard, forechecking team. Without that, you’re asking guys that were never shutdown defenders to defend for long stretches in the zone, instead of just on the rare transition. St. Louis is not really built that way.

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Concurrently, the Blues are hot and cold when it comes to scoring. They have 13 goals in their three wins, but just four goals in their three losses and that includes a shutout loss.

So, what do you do? You cannot keep shuffling lines and mixing everything up hoping something will eventually work out. You cannot just keep putting the same people out in the same scenarios, much like the Blues have with Vince Dunn, and not expect the same, poor results.

What do they do? They are essentially at a crossroads.

This is not a Labyrinth-type crossroads. One path does not lead to a Stanley Cup, while the other leads to…bubububummmmmmmm…certain death.

It will take specific decisions that will vary situation to situation and even player to player. For example, not to pick on him a lot, but Mike Hoffman needs both patience and urgency.

The Blues need him to pick up their style of play and the tendencies of teammates sooner rather than later. They don’t need to demote him to the third line or off the power play simply because he has not lit the lamp 10 times already.

St. Louis can have patience with Torey Krug on the same type of thing. It’s ok if goals are not coming as quickly as we’d like, but they can have no patience with turnovers and have to remedy that quickly.

You have to have patience with team chemistry. Recall that Ryan O’Reilly said he did not feel 100% comfortable in the locker room until the playoffs hit.

You cannot have patience with individual mistakes that are easily remedied by either more effort or being smarter in your decision making.

This is why you pay a coach like Craig Berube the big bucks. He has to be able to identify those players that just need a little prod and you can wait on versus the ones that need a strong message sent to.

Right now, the only players that don’t need some sort of tweak, in my opinion, are Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Kyrou, Brayden Schenn and Justin Faulk. Everyone else has certain ways they can pick up their game.

Husso has not been good, but he's not to blame either. dark. Next

How long we can wait on any of them to turn it around is the question. Dunn may have run out of time. Someone like Hoffman or Krug might have a different leash.