I've never booed the Blues. Never sat in my seat and openly booed a poor performance before. Never sat on the couch at home and booed the team or even an individual player. I've been pissed plenty. Thrown stuff at my own TV. Broken my own possessions. Stormed out of rooms. But never booed the team before.
Last night I helped boo the home team off the ice. I don't feel guilty about it at all.
I think I've never booed the Blues before because even when they were getting killed in games or, like in 2005-06, simply didn't have the talent to compete with the other team most nights, at least there was effort. There was some drive or some sense of personal pride or personal embarrassment. There was some sense that even if they were getting wacked harder than my college roommate's dick on Five Hour Porno Sunday the players were trying their best to make it stop or to stem the tide or just avoid getting completely bent over in front of their fans.
But last night they let the Oilers embarrass them in front of a home crowd which, if not the rowdiest I've ever experienced, was at least behind the team. I'm sure some of those players felt shame in what had happened to them, but I know full well that some of them were over on the east side within an hour, and shame isn't exactly what was making their cheeks burn.
Only one other time have I sat in that building and thought definitively, "This coach is getting fired in the next couple days." that was on the night that Brett Hull's No. 16 went to the rafters and the Blues promptly had their mouths raped for them by the visiting Red Wings. At the time I realized that if the team couldn't get up to play hard on that night, then something had to change and that the change had to be the firing of Mike Kitchen.
Tonight I had the same feeling as that day right before Kitchen's excuse of "I told them what to do, but they just aren't doing it" failed to save his job. Andy Murray is going to lose his job.
As much as he is a likeable guy and as much as I don't want to see any individual lose his job, sports are still a business and this sports team is run by businessmen who didn't get to the position of being able to own a hockey team by making bad decisions. The owner, Dave Checketts, has already said in the media that mediocre isn't going to cut it, a statement that seems to indicate one of two courses of action: a trade or a firing. As I broke down in my overlong article about possible tradeable assets, there just aren't a lot of players that can be moved right now. And that leaves just one other option, an option that is familiar to people who run companies in America. In business, when one division of a company is failing, that division head gets the axe. All the employees get freaked, a new division head is hired with a mandate to kick ass and take names and the division either succeeds or more people get fired.
Andy Murray is that division head. If the new guy comes in and struggles, then we'll see some trades. But Andy Murray is going to be the first guy to fall on his sword for the Blues this year.
Finally, I've written about the Blues' lack of a killer instinct this year. Killer instinct? Holy shit. Maybe I need to write about them being less emo and losing the suicidal instinct they showed last night. Or maybe I have that wrong too. Maybe less suicidal and more of a less-hubris situation. Up by three and just 20 seconds to go until the third period? Wheee! Look at us! We are the bestest!
Dear Blues, Here's what you looked like from the stands last night. Guess which guy is you.
Next game is Tuesday against the Flames, who have like three good players. Brett Hull will be in the building as the Blues honor his career for the 17th time in the last four years. Will Murray still be behind the bench for that game? What happens if they Detroit it up for that one? How long does he get after that?