Earlier today, STLGT co-leader @hildymac took beautiful aim at a popular topic. She's a teacher and a student so don't piss her off! She took aim at Blues talk and the danger zones many fans face when they enter it. Whether you think the Blues are playing like horseshit or displaying improved ways at not sucking, anything should be game. Anything except the harsh critique of another fan. Here at Game Time, we are fans just like you. Passionate. Fiery. Needy. Answer filled. Theory driven. Possessed by large amounts of whiskey most of the time(hey there, JOHN Daniels!).
Quick story time. Since I cover the St. Louis Cardinals with passion as well, I have been accused many times during my Blues hockey loving years as a bandwagon rider or someone who doesn't care enough about hockey to talk to the Corsi or Pucks Scored Above League Average Wise crowd. Whatever it is, give it a name. I've faced it my entire life. Who are you to form an opinion about a hockey team that doesn't rival my own? The hones truth is we all have something to say about the Blues but it all comes in different forms.
For example-I may say that Ken Hitchcock's career win total holds as much as weight at the moment as Stan Kroenke's Christmas Card collection. You may defend him by saying he's been there, won that, eaten this and trust is needed. You want to know who is right? NO ONE. It's all opinion, based on what we watch and what sites we choose to value in our hunt for the truth.
If I write that David Backes isn't the main problem and you say he is, that is the making for a great hockey conversation. It doesn't make for name calling, personal attacks and war. We are talking about a fucking game for baby jesus sakes, folks!
Right now, it's no secret that the Blues are playing like shit. They rarely play 30 minutes of excellent hockey. Their defense breaks down. They take tons of "shots" but can't push goals in. Their depth is showing red flags already. Jake Allen can't skate past the blue line and takes shots at the other goal so he settles for making dazzling saves. The team can't destroy average or bad teams, instead playing down to them. Ken Hitchcock has run out of answers that don't involve buy in, reckless, practice or ability. He may recycle answers from last year's failures. He didn't have new answers in August so why would he have them now? He shouldn't be HERE!
It doesn't stop with him though. General Manager Doug Armstrong deserves heat, criticism and a hot seat soon if his team doesn't produce. He picked this roster. He failed to bring in a new coach. He didn't make a big move this offseason other than dumping T.J. Oshie. He gave 2.6 million to Steve Ott and nearly four million to Patrik Berglund, who suddenly went down before preseason with a four month shoulder injury. He should go if Hitch goes. It would be time.
It's early, right? No it's not. It's December 15th and soon enough, will be January 1st. Then, it will be February 1st. Folks, this team won't snap into it over night. Their win over Dallas was great but it was like a flicker on a television screen. Cool lights, impressive in sight but short lasting. When will this team win more than 3 games in a row? When will they show consistency in puck movement, scoring chances and the ability to be coherent for more than one power play per game? All these of these are good questions and ripe for discussion.
The good way to respond to this would be to challenge my theories on Armstrong, the Blues performance against Colorado and what kind of effect Berglund brings in January. If you say savior, I'll fire back but will do so in a respectful manner.
The bad way to respond is by telling me I don't know shit about hockey and then telling me your opinion. Which, after all the dust settles, is basically ONE opinion.
Be a good fan. Respect other fans and their passionate responses to this teams play. In the end, we all want the same thing. A parade down 14th and Clark. A street full of blue in St. Louis. The first Lord Stanleys Cup to not make a b-line for Busch Stadium for some STL native to show off in our city. In the end, we want a Cup. So save the hate for the Chicago Blackhawks fans and their players.
It may sound old and tired, but be the better person and take the high road when encountered with a hateful fan.
Or, chug a shot of whiskey, grab a stick and challenge them to a padless street hockey duel.
Either way, go Blues and thanks for reading this non hockey stat filled column. Be well!