I would say that I got to see two crappy hockey games this week, but it feels more like I just watched the same one twice. the Blues, much like Thursday, were listless and sloppy throughout most of the game. The Blues looked like they were in dire need of some remedial passing drills at their next practice, much like Thursday. the Blues looked like when they got behind, rather than going back to basics like physical play, tenacious forechecking and making the simple play to get out of their own zone and into the opposing zone, they decided to instead try to make fancy plays and over-pass the puck rather than shoot and crash.
Here's hoping that Andy Murray does to the team in practice what would happen to any decent Mite hockey team after an effort like that: Lots and lots of back-to-basics drills. As for the swagger they displayed in Sweden and have seemingly lost since returning to St. Louis? I have no idea where to find that again, but my guess is that if they start executing the basics again they'll see success offensively and the swagger will return naturally.
- On a night full of reasons to be negative, there was one positive in that Alex Pietrangelo looked great in his season debut. Last year he looked unsettled. Tonight he was confident. he missed one homerun pass, but beyond that, there was plenty to be excited about in his game. Kelly Chase even gave him the Hard Hat Award after the game.
- You know who's most bummed in the DrinkScotch these days? The beer vendors at the carts. The cost of a 24 oz. jobber went from $9 last year to $9.50 this year. As the vendor correctly noted to me, "All they did was cut my tips in half."
- I don't want to say the attitude in the stands has quite reached sky-is-falling yet, but I have had several people make the comment that watching these last two games has been a lot like watching a game from 2006.
- I'll likely get around to posting it this week, but my editorial article in the paper today is sure to incense some people. I don't want to give it all away, so I'll just say this; I think Patrik Berglund is fighting off a serious bout of the Sophomore Slump, but he's the only one of the two fighting it who has been benched over it.
- I didn't see anyone wearing a neck brace in the crowd, but escalator jokes are the new golf cart joke.
- The Blues have now had problems with the Atlanta Thrashers and the Los Angeles Kings, two teams that are under-rated and young and skilled and full of offense. Know what other team fits that exact description? The Phoenix Coyotes, who are next on the schedule. Those four points against Detroit are starting to look like a life preserver.
- The day Paul Kariya takes or receives a hit to make a play will be the day I take this statement back: No. 9 is a straight pussy.
- I'm glad the team is going on the road for a couple weeks. Not because I believe it'll help them bond together again, I'm just tired of watching these crappy games live. At home I can at least make it stop if their performances stay the same as they were this week.
Post-game video. Interesting points: team meeting after the game, Chris Mason thinks that spotting leads is a bad idea, Tkachuk believes in looking inside oneself, and after four games of surrendering two-goal leads, there is a theme of 'being ready to go" at the start of games.