Jake Allen is starting tonight. Wade Redden is out. Kris Russell is back in. Will any of this make a bit of difference? No. What will make a difference is if the team listens to what coach Ken Hitchcock has been telling them. Center Scott Nichol made the most astute observation regarding the problems so far:
"It’s slow motion," said veteran center Scott Nichol. "It’s like there’s no jam. And that’s what we prided ourselves on last year, having fun, the emotion and the jam, the battle …
"We’re not embracing anything right now. I don’t know if we’re waiting for the next guy to do it. Guys are gripping their sticks a little bit more. … We just have to realize no one’s going to get you out of this other than yourself and the guy next to you."
So, basically, fix your shit. Fix how you play for the team's sake, and the rewards will come to the individual players. Stop looking at your stats sheet and look at the team's.
David Backes also brought up something that myself and most of you have been pointing out for a while -- the Blues tend to play from behind. They'll take a period off, come back, and win games that they fall behind in. Their loss in Chicago should have proved that can't happen every game, but apparently the boys are slow on the uptake.
"In Columbus, where we come out light and get away with it, and all of a sudden we think that level is acceptable. Then we do it in Dallas, and we get away with it, and we think that’s acceptable. Then you play teams where you’re not able to do that and before you know it, you’re playing at a level where you’re getting trounced at home."
Lesson learned... right? If not everyone on the team has caught on by now, they're never going to catch on.
Don't forget, tonight's game is a national one on NBCSN. Puck drop is at 7:30. Please go Blues.