I watched today's game looking for a fatal flaw. I wanted to see if there was something I've been missing in the Blues' game that would explain why they aren't scoring enough and in turn, not winning enough. And besides a growing impending sense of doom that started right about the time that a goofy dump-in pass from about 65 feet out hop-skipped over Ty Conklin's glove and into the net to tie the game, I just didn't see it.
Clearly, I'm no expert. I'm not a coach or a scout or even a person who has played the game at any seriously competetive level. I have watched a lot of NHL hockey and a lot of Blues hockey over the years, but still; clearly no expert. And there doesn't seem to be any discernible reason for this extended slump the team is in. they're playing physically. They're getting quality shots on the net. They're crashing the goal. The energy has been there. The goaltending has been there.
It's just an old-fashioned slump.
The problem with a slump is that unless you're Mark Grace, there's no tried-and-true way to bust it. It could happen with a weird bounce in a game (that goes your way for once) or it could come from a weird off-ice incident that loosens up the team and helps them to quit gripping their sticks. It could come from anywhere. Sooner or later it'll happen and the Blues will break out of this funk; they're simply too good of a team to not have it happen. Problem is, we have no idea when it's going to happen. With games at home on Tuesday (Canucks), Thursday (Predators) and Saturday (Sharks), we'd all prefer if it was sooner rather than later.
A few other notes from tonight:
- David Perron is getting better. And he was already better this year than he was last year. The Blues were apprehensive about spending a first round pick on him, but he looks like he's on his way to a pretty great NHL career.
- Patrik Berglund is getting more and more invisible as the games go along. If it's determined that someone needs to go to Peoria this week, I'd vote for Berglund before I'd vote for Eller.
- Lars Eller plays a more physical game than I would have expected. It's early to make any real determinations on him, but I like him on the line with T.J. Oshie. Let's put Perron on the other wing and see what happens there.
- Actual text message exchange from tonight: Please get Kariya off this team. Um, then who would we have to play soft and shoot high? Boyes. Oh yeah. OK, I'll work on it.
Finally, DanGNR sent this picture from his trip to Atlanta to watch the debacle. We look forward to hearing stories from yet another roadie GT meet up.