This past off season the St. Louis Blues put on a heck of a marketing campaign about a new season filled with redemption after what was an embarrassing 2022-2023 campaign. We made some small moves, acquiring Kevin Hayes and re-signing Sunny, but nothing we did exactly screamed “back to contention time” for the boys in Blue.
Fast forward to now after the first 3 games of the season, and it seems like we’re still going to be bad. But let’s call it a different flavor of bad.
Two points I want to make before you bozos freak out about that statement or the title of this article:
- I understand it’s been 3 games and 1-1-1 is a hell of a lot better than 0-0-3.
- In no way shape or form do I WANT Chief to get the boot, nor do I think he should.
This team may be not be 0-3, but we’re an ugly 1-1-1. The team’s main issue last season obviously was the horrendous defense and while in the first two games we gave up only two goals in regulation, it was not because our defense is that much better.
Instead of letting the team play more freely on defense, the coaching staff’s new defensive strategy seems to be simply blocking every shooting lane possible to avoid giving up a goal. Giving up less goals is good, but not if it means you simply let the other team skate circles around you in your zone for 60 minutes.
Would you like evidence that this strategy may be wearing us out and effecting us on offense?
Well, so far through 3 games our powerplay is getting outshot by the other team. Yes, that’s right.
When the Blues have more players on the ice than the other team this season, the other team is generating more on offense. Auston Matthews has two more goals (6) than the entire Blues team does in 3 games so far this year.
To top it off, I think I’ve seen Kyrou and Thomas spend more time on TV commercials during games than the other team’s offensive zone. That isn’t great since their shiny $8 million AAV deals kicked in this season.
Some say the best offense is a great defense, but in Thursday’s game against the Coyotes (who literally play at a YMCA) that proved to not be a sustainable strategy. The Blues got boat raced at home by an extremely sub-par team, then proceeded to get murdered by their social media team.
It looked like Arizona was on a powerplay for most of the game and, to make matters worse, one of the two guys doing the most damage for the Yotes was St. Louis product Clayton Keller. For some reason, he plays like Wayne Gretzky every time he faces his hometown team (god would I love to see him in a Blues sweater).
Do I think all of this is Chief’s fault? Absolutely not. We have overpaid our defensemen by millions, Scott Perunovich has shoulders made of tissue paper, and ever since signing those $60+ million deals our two (hopeful) pillars of the organization in Kyrou/Thomas have fallen way short of their new paychecks.
But the reality is this-before the season started Berube unfortunately had the highest odds of getting canned of any NHL coach according to the Sports Betting Sportsbook at just 4-1.
Another reality that most of the Blues faithful don’t think about is the Blues are not the richest team in the NHL. We aren’t the New York Rangers or Chicago where our ownership group is wealthy enough to take multiple years of being at the bottom of the barrel in the NHL. Multiple years of missing the playoffs is bad news for Stillman and company. They NEED that extra playoff dough in revenue to be able to spend up to the cap on players, keep Enterprise up to date as one of the most underrated barns in the league, etc.
Due to this being the case, Chief doesn’t have that long of a leash this year to right the ship. Again, I 100% do not think he is the issue, but unfortunately in today’s NHL the head coach is always the first to fall on the sword.
So, hopefully the boys can prove me wrong and stop having an offense that is a wheelchair with pedals, because I personally love having this psychopath as my coach.