Fuck you Stan Kroenke.
I figured I'd get that out of the way before I say anything that even shares a dorm room with hockey talk. Friday night, the St. Louis Blues walked into Pepsi Arena and blew a late 1-0 lead, losing 2-1 to the Colorado Stanolanche in a shootout. If it wasn't for Brian Elliott, they may have lost in the 2nd period. Listen up because I am going to make this quick.
The Blues are giving up an unhealthy amount of shots these days. Shots here, shots there and shots all around. Sure there are reasons for this and inspection type theories one can make but it's just ugly and bewildering. During the last five games, the Blues have been outshot 186-125. Remember the Montreal and Pittsburgh games. The Blues won. Only because Elliott let them sneak by after those stupid penalties resulted in shot flurries on net that would make you question if the Blues were playing defense or standing by and watching.
Elliott hasn't just stood on his head the last two weeks. He's shown his head coach, Ken Hitchcock, that maybe he didn't need to be stuffed at the end of the bench for the majority of November and December. Here is a guy who has constantly stood behind the proposed "Guy" in net for the Blues his entire time here. Jaro Halak. Ryan Miller. Jake Allen. Louie...I kid. Seriously, hopefully what Elliott is doing won't be lost on Hitch when Allen returns from his knee injury siesta.
I wonder if Elliott always gets stuck behind that person with the overstuffed grocery cart at Schnucks too. Does he gets stuck behind the sister with a seven item list at Starbucks who can't pronounce frappi correctly? Does he get stuck with the bad waitress at Waffle House who screws up his eggs and has a bad tooth that can't be unseen? Poor guy had to get cozy with a semi cold McMuffin.
I know the Blues are playing hurt, but not by a lot right now. Does anyone really miss slamming or blindly making excuses for Magnus Paajarvi and his elastic five points in 32 games played? The Schwartz has picked a lightsaber and started wielding it at practice. Hitch has stuck with a certain line arrangement on the ice. Colton "Ivan Drago Jr." Parayko lost a chunk of his lip Friday but came back within 10 minutes. The excuses are running low for the Blues. They have to clean up their play because luck won't sit next to them for long.
After tomorrow's clash in Chicago with the Blackhawks aka "We Let Players with Rape Allegations play on" association, the much needed All Star break appears. Bodies can sleep. Legs will rest. Elliott will go ice fishing. Backes will visit a few under-nourished kennels. Somehow, Hitch and company need to figure out this shot on net against assault. Is there more to it?
— LeHockeyBoy (@LeHockeyBoy) January 23, 2016
The point above is fair but still doesn't hide the fact that the Blues are playing extra risky hockey and giving the other team too many clear looks at the net. Looks that may turn into goals soon once Elliott stops being amazaballs in net. What was once a strong penalty killing group that didn't allow a ton of shots is starting to show some leaks. Many times when Allen was in net, I wondered without his strong play what the score would be? The same thing is happening with Elliott. His save percentage the last five games is .946.
Here's another thing to work on. PENALTIES. Stop taking so many bad penalties. Sure, the refs call a few extra when they haven't been fed right, but still the amount is alarming. The Blues currently rank 3rd in the NHL In times short handed, at 168. They are behind Columbus and Winnipeg. Clean that shit up. The shot attempts, point blank variety, may go down. Maybe not.
Here's the facts. With one game to go before the the break, the Blues are 3rd in the Western Conference and have grabbed at least a point in 9 of 11 games this month. The Hawks are 20-5-1 at home and have surged ahead of the Stars for the top spot in the West. They didn't lose in regulation for 12 games before their last two games, which resulted in losses. They are angry. The Blues should be angry as well.
Sunday should be fun. Let's lower the shot totals a tad and keep the stupid penalties to a minimum. That is, after David Backes lights Patrick Kane the fuck up.
Happy Saturday folks. Drink a hot cup of coffee for me. Stay sexy.