Stars At Blues Recap: Blues Lose 4-2 Despite Alexander Steen's Two Goals

Dilip Vishwanat

The Blues looked disinterested at best tonight, losing to a Stars team desperate for wins.

I wish that I could offer up a traditional recap tonight, but to be honest my viewing experience on GameCenter Live was not the smoothest experience in the world. I think I spent more time frustrated at the various and sundry apps than at the Blues themselves.

Suffice it to say I'm not happy about several things right now.

The Blues lost to a team that needed it more, and that wanted it more. That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at tonight is as evidence of a glaring issue. Where is the secondary scoring?

The Blues' top line has had a terrific March, and an outstanding last three games in particular. David Backes had a hattrick against the Toronto Maple Leafs, T.J. Oshie had one against the Minnesota Wild, and Alexander Steen nearly made my GDT look like a prediction of the future with two goals tonight. Primary scoring has not been the issue here.

Steen scored the only two goals tonight. Oshie scored two out of five against a fairly (recently) bad Wild team. Toronto's been in free-fall for a while, and Backes was responsible for three fifths of the goals against them. Here're their stats for the previous five games, not counting tonight. See if you catch a trend (all stats from the Blues' website):

David Backes:

LAST 5 GAMES

GAME G A P +/- PIM PP SH S S% SHIFTS TOI FO%

MAR 27 '14   MIN @ STL 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 1 0.0 24 18:17 30.0

MAR 25 '14   STL @ TOR 3 0 3 3 0 1 0 7 42.9 29 18:46 45.4

MAR 23 '14   STL @ PIT* 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 3 33.3 30 20:29 35.7

MAR 22 '14   STL @ PHI 0 0 0 -1 4 0 0 2 0.0 31 20:05 63.2

MAR 19 '14   STL @ CHI 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 2 0.0 30 18:36 53.8

* SCORED GAME WINNING GOAL

Alexander Steen:

LAST 5 GAMES

GAME G A P +/- PIM PP SH S S% SHIFTS TOI FO%

MAR 27 '14   MIN @ STL 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 2 0.0 24 20:13 58.3

MAR 25 '14   STL @ TOR* 1 2 3 4 0 0 0 2 50.0 29 18:53 57.1

MAR 23 '14   STL @ PIT 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 0.0 31 19:44 50.0

MAR 22 '14   STL @ PHI 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 3 0.0 32 20:06 0.0

MAR 19 '14   STL @ CHI 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 29 16:44 11.1

* SCORED GAME WINNING GOAL

T.J. Oshie:

LAST 5 GAMES

GAME G A P +/- PIM PP SH S S% SHIFTS TOI FO%

MAR 27 '14   MIN @ STL* 3 0 3 3 0 0 1 6 50.0 23 19:14

MAR 25 '14   STL @ TOR 1 2 3 2 0 0 0 4 25.0 28 17:33

MAR 23 '14   STL @ PIT 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 0.0 25 19:21

MAR 22 '14   STL @ PHI 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0 25 17:48

MAR 19 '14   STL @ CHI 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 3 0.0 24 17:32

* SCORED GAME WINNING GOAL

And there we go. They don't score, the Blues have issues winning. Before you say "Oh! Hildy! Steen scored twice tonight!" allow me to posit this: it has to catch up with the team sooner or later. You can't expect your top line to do everything.

The fourth line is not a scoring line. The line of Morrow-Roy-Ott is certainly not a scoring line, and if they don't effectively stifle the opposition, well, you get a game like tonight's. The second line is centered by Vladimir Sobotka, who is a perfectly fine player but probably not a second line center. Patrik Berglund is sometimes hot, mostly tepid. Jaden Schwartz has been playing very well - but do you leave him out there by himself with two guys who may or may not score, or do you risk messing up your top line's chemistry by doing the "Oshie'll fix it!" technique?

I know that it's entertaining to some people, to read a piece by a fan of the Western Conference's top team worrying about scoring - but it's a concern shared by many fans. We're Blues fans. We're conditioned for the worst possible scenario, because the team has never shown us that it's wrong to be that way. You'll have to forgive us for noticing problems that other teams'd be thrilled to have. It's natural.

But this is a serious concern. The Blues score against very bad teams. They have been having issues for the past several weeks with teams who are good. They lost the first round to the Kings last year not because of Brian Elliott, but because the team couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.

It would be nice if Vladimir Tarasenko'd come back at the start of the playoffs to even this whole thing out. Let's keep our fingers crossed that heading into the final stretch the Blues can figure something out without him.

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