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Same issues hold Blues back; fall to Ducks 4-2.


Sunday tends to be the one day that I can escape the Sleep When You're Dead mentality of the Game Time organization. I like to wind down, take it easy, maybe get to bed early. So do the Blues, apparently.

Let's get to the bullet points. You tell me which ones you haven't heard before.

  • Goaltending blah, blah, blah. I'm sick of writing it, you're sick of reading it. The big question, of course, is whether the team starts Brian Elliott on Tuesday to see if he's for real or if they start Jaroslav Halak to see if he can find his confidence.
  • The Blues penalty killing is the worst in the league. Their power play is now 1-for-19, which is 5.3% conversion rate. They have the right players to run these special teams units, so there must be something wrong with the execution or the system. I think it has to be the systems.
  • Alexander Steen continues to be the excellent but unsung stud of the team. He now has three goals and two assists in five games to lead the team in goals (tied with Jason Arnott for points). You want to get David Backes (whose only goal this year is last night's empty netter) going? Admit that the Jamie Langenbrunner on the top line experiment is over and put him on the third line and put Steen on the top line. And yes, I think Steen is good enough to not only get Backes going but to help Evgeny Grachev become NHL relevant too. It might hurt Arnott's production, but I'd trade his dip for Backes' increase.
  • Speaking of line combos, the T.J. Oshie, Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund line is at its best when it is not the Stewart, Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka line. Reunite that line.

The next game is Tuesday against the Kings, so the Blues only have a couple practices to fix things. The good news for Davis Payne is that they're the same things he's been trying to fix since the first game. So there's that.