It seemed like there were enough positives against the Boston to think the St. Louis Blues were out of their funk. That proved to not be the case against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The game proved to be too similar to the Boston game, but not in a good way. It was another decent start which got worse as things went along with any good points being all too brief.
For the second night in a row, the Blues had a decent first period. They had good energy and had nine shots on goal.
Nine still isn’t enough, but it’s better than five or six, which we’ve seen recently. Technically, it should have been more, but the Blues just can’t seem to hit the net right now. They had as many missed chances as they did actual shots, or at least it felt like it.
On the flip side, the game was still not under control for the Blues. They were somewhat fortunate to get out of the first period without surrendering a goal since they gave up 18 shots in the first period alone.
The second period continued to be one of the worst for the Blues. They were ok through half of the period, but it all went downhill once something went wrong.
The Flyers first goal was nothing but luck, but that’s how it’s been. A centering pass hit off a Blues stick and then went in off the Flyers player’s pants to make it 1-0.
The second goal was another lost puck along the wall, which led to a transition play. Fans will blame the defense and there’s blame to be had, but when you’re constantly facing rush plays, you’re going to back in. The Flyers crisscrossed and snapped one across the grain to make it 2-0.
They scored a third before the intermission. St. Louis failed to get the puck out of their zone as the period was ending and the Flyers went tic-tac-toe to score with mere seconds left.
St. Louis tried to get it going in the third. Ryan O’Reilly scored his second goal of the season. For a brief moment, they looked like the Blues of last year, connecting on a rush and then O’Reilly snapping one on the drop play.
That didn’t even last 90 seconds though. Niko Mikkola decided to chase the puck carrier, leaving the back door open near the net and of course the Flyers found the open man and the three goal lead was restored at 4-1.
St. Louis went through the motions and got 12 shots on goal in the third. However, they just didn’t have enough sustained pressure. They never hem anybody in or just get the opposing net peppered with shots any longer.
To showcase how things have gone, the Blues never even got the goaltender pulled. They couldn’t get possession long enough and then Thomas Greiss finally let in a bad goal off his blocker to make it a 5-1 final.
Cons: Power play
The Blues had one of the better power plays in the league last season. Now, you hope they don’t get any power plays, because it’s actually a detriment to the team.
St. Louis is so poor with the man advantage right now that being a man up is worse than five-on-five. They give up as many shots as they get.
0-2 isn’t completely awful, but you have to make teams pay for taking penalties. Right now, opponents don’t care if they go in the box.
They relish the opportunity to take on this weak power play. They can challenge every player and every pass and are often rewarded with easy clears or even shorthanded chances.
When the game is still 0-0 and the Blues cannot get anything going at all with the very first power play of the game, it exemplifies how things are going.
It’s all just a mess.
Cons: Teamwide mess
Chris Kerber made an observation that has occurred to me, but hadn’t completely voiced. This entire losing streak is just an incomprehensible anomaly.
It’s one thing to lose or to play poorly, but the entire team just looks like a shell. Players that have skill, have no skill.
Guys that are dependable, are not dependable. Players that are usually as surehanded with the puck as anyone in the league are fumbling it like rookies that don’t belong in the league yet.
None of this makes sense. It’s one thing to not score goals, but to look so lost from top to bottom is almost unheard of in this manner.
I love hockey and I imagine you do too, if you’re reading this. We’ve all been through tough times as Blues fans.
I’m old enough to remember the struggles from when the team was trying to sell the franchise and gave away all their best players for peanuts. While this team is more talented than it was then, this losing streak feels different.
At least then, you could say they were young or just not good. There was still fight in them though.
This team doesn’t have anything. It’s empty.
I’m not talking about effort or energy. Even when they’re playing alright, they just don’t look like a team that’s in control of themselves.
They can’t hit four-foot passes right now. You could give them an open net and put them five feet away from it and they’d still find a way to miss.
Statistically, they weren’t that horrible in this game. 28 shots, won 60% of their faceoffs and had 34 hits.
How much of the game can we honestly say it felt like something good was going to happen?
We’ve seen poor stretches for this franchise, but there was usually at least a few players still playing at the top of their game.
The entire team is just not right. It reminds me of that psychologist in The Natural talking about losing being a disease. That’s what it is for the Blues right now.
We keep saying maybe the next game will turn it around, but the hole is getting deep. You’ve gotta go on an impressive winning streak just to get back to .500 now.
The loss to Philly wasn’t the worst we’ve seen. However, it’s just starting to feel like no matter how early it is this season, that this might be the way the whole year actually goes.