I was searching for a clip on YouTube that I could simply post here tonight to wrap up what watching tonight's game was like. Unfortunately, I guess the movie Varsity Blues wasn't as popular as I'd assumed. For those of you who haven't seen it, the high school football team goes out until the wee hours one night to blow off steam. The next night they are flat and uninspired and get dismantled on the field.
I hope the Blues weren't out late last night watching one of their high school teachers as a stripper like in the movie, but they played as uninspired a game as I've seen this season. The crowd was a little light tonight, but as the third period trudged on, it got lighter and lighter. Some notes on the game for your consideration:
- I haven't left a Blues game early since the debacle that was Brett Hull Night when Detroit kicked the living shit out of the flat and listless Blues, effectively closing the book on Mike Kitchen's head coaching career. Tonight, I left early.
- Some will blame the effort tonight on the abundance of Peoria players in the lineup, as Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves were all thrown into the lineup to cover for injuries and trades. But the Blues had the Oshie-Berglund-Stewart line out there and while McDonald and Backes seemed to be playing with D'Agostini when I would have given them either Steen or Stewart to play with, those are two good lines. They should have been able to produce something and they failed big time.
- That was the Blues eighth game in 11 days and the scedule is clearly taking a toll on them. That said, it isn't about to get any easier. They play six in the next 11 days and 14 games in the next 28 days to finish out March.
- Ben Bishop is, unsurprisingly, looking like a guy new to the NHL. He has some great games like the ones against Edmonton and Calgary (on Sunday) and he has some awful periods like he did against Chicago and Calgary (tonight). That said, I like the idea of letting Jaroslav Halak and Bishop be tested this year. Both are still very young and I think that Halak can still become the unquestioned No. 1 here and Bishop can either become an excellent 1A or 2. Allowing young goalies to fight and grow is painful, but the last 19 games of this season is the time to do it.
- What else can you say? That was awful from start to finish and reminded me of the terribly outmatched team we watched in 2006; a team that was only exciting when it was fighting, just like tonight. In fact, when Cam Janssen started a fight and the crowd was pumped for the first time of the night, that was when I knew it was time to go. Honestly, 2006 sucked, and I watched far too many of those games. I don't feel like reliving that again.
Blues play Thursday in Washington. How tired will they be then?