The St. Louis Blues should have been pumped to get back to the rink. They were coming off a four-game losing streak, including dropping two games at home.
Getting back on the road should have been a good thing for a team that has stunk at home. Getting Tyler Bozak back and healthy should have helped even out the lines and provided some jump.
Nothing could be further from the truth. St. Louis got hammered right from the hop and got embarrassed.
The Blues were just bad. They were scrambling around like a team fighting to stay out of the basement instead of a team thinking they could top the division.
The Los Angeles Kings scored just 3:31 into the game. The Blues took an offensive zone penalty and the Kings scored on the power play shortly after.
Jordan Binnington felt he was interfered with. The Blues did not challenge it.
The Kings scored after a ping-pong puck landed right on a Kings stick and they stuffed in the partial wrap around. The Kings tripled their lead when a fourth line player scored, as the LA fourth line was taking the Blues to school the entire period.
Offensively, the Blues were a non factor. They did not get their first shot until 11:51 was left in the period. Their second shot came seven minutes and 10 seconds later.
St. Louis had a measly three shots on goal in the opening period. None of them were going to beat the goaltender.
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The Blues started to be a little better in the second period. They had more jump and Torey Krug provided a spark by getting in a fight.
St. Louis started getting more zone time, but it seemed as though it was going nowhere. They wasted a power play and the period kept ticking along.
Finally, Mike Hoffman scored with a little more than three minutes left. It was a drive from the point that got deflected and turned into a knuckle ball.
Still, it was not a ton to feel great about. As much as the Blues dominated the second period, they only had one goal to show for it.
St. Louis was OK in the third period, but they just did not generate enough. You would hope they’d throw everything and the kitchen sink at the net, but the Blues only mustered six third period shots.
They fell 4-1 after an empty net goal.
Normally, we spend this space picking out the good and the bad, but there just was not enough good to bother. I try my best to be open minded and fair, but the Kings are not anywhere as good as the Blues make them look.
It is tiresome to see St. Louis continue to fail to show up in the first period. The broadcast crew gave a plausible excuse that the inane protocols in place in California prevented the Blues from doing anything hockey related, so they lost their form, but the Kings should not have been that much sharper.
It’s about will and determination and the Blues have none. They circle and cycle and do nothing. There is no drive to the net or plunging into the center of the offensive zone.
This team is too talented and too full of guts to say they are afraid or looking to avoid the tough areas. However, they play as though they know there’s a playoff spot assured and they don’t want to lose any more players right now.
Nothing is assured the way this team is currently going the last five games. There’s nothing right with their current game.
We keep saying they’re a defensive team, but that’s only when they choose to be. They’re sloppy, careless in their own end and doing nothing but puck watching and reaching.
Offensively, it’s a mess. Nobody knows where anyone is at, but they still attempt passes as though they’re a well-oiled machine. Shot totals are useless because you’re lucky if half the shots taken are anything that troubled the goaltender.
Special teams has gone the wrong way again. There is not one phase of the game that the Blues are succeeding in right now.
They got outshot. They got outhit. The Blues got taken behind the woodshed in the faceoff circle too, which is supposed to be their strong suit.
How can Mike Hoffman, a man that call-in shows continually say doesn’t fit the Blues mold, be the only one seeming to show any drive? Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly do a lot of moving, but they’re not really accomplishing anything either.
It’s a mess now. Sports, like much in life, is all subjective and there will be fans that saw hope from that second period.
For me, this team is going the wrong way. There is less and less to build on and more issues compounding already present problems.
They had better show up in San Jose or missing the playoffs will become a very real scenario.