The Blues have not been playing their best hockey as of late. And that is using the term “hockey” fairly loosely.
Goal scoring has been a major problem for the Blues but some are starting to wonder if that has less to do with the talent that is on the ice and more to do with the character of this team.
It is obvious that Mike Yeo is stating to lose patience with his team. He had this to say after the game Wednesday night,
"I'm frustrated, and not because I don't think that we can score goals," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "I just think that we're better than that." [stltoday.com]
I think the frustrating part for most Blues fans is that this team has had opportunities to win almost every game they have lost. But instead have failed to ratchet up the required intensity needed to battle back.
Most of the key problems the Blues are dealing with stem from nothing more than a lack of focus. Sloppy turnovers in their own zone, lack of traffic in front of their opponent’s net, a horrendous power play have all played a major role in this team’s recent demise.
Hopefully this is just a slump that Blues will work their way out of but it feels more and more like their lackluster play is becoming the new norm.
Once again Mike Yeo has instituted some line changes that he hopes will raise this Blues offense from the dead.
#stlblues lines:— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) December 28, 2017
extras: Sundqvist, Paajarvi
extras: Bouwmeester, Schmaltz
Sundqvist has 0 goals in 23 games and is a minus 3 while Paajarvi has 2 goals in 35 games and is a minus 4 so it is hard to imagine that the Blues are going to miss either one.
Hopefully Ivan Barbashev will be able to rekindle the chemistry he had with Vladimir Tarasenko during last year’s playoffs.
The third line is exactly were Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Dmitrij Jaskin need to be and I imagine is where Mike Yeo would love to keep them.
If all Chris Thorburn does is punch Antoine Roussel in the face then I will be perfectly satisfied.
Jay Bouwmeester skated yesterday but is still not ready to return to the lineup.
The Blues need to get two points tonight if they hope to keep pace with Nashville and Winnipeg but beating the Stars in Dallas will be no easy task.
As for tonight’s opponent, the Stars are in the middle of a perfectly mediocre season. At 21-15-3 they sit in fourth place in the central division and hold the West’s first wildcard spot. They are 12-4-1 at home so far this season.
Their average of 2.9 goals for is 16th best in the NHL while their 2.9 goals against is 17th. They have the 12th ranked power play at 19.8% and the 17th ranked PK at 80.6%.
Tyler Seguin leads the team in goals with 18. Top pair defenseman John Klingberg has 27 assists and 31 points.
Ben Bishop will be in goal tonight and is currently posting a 91.0% save percentage and a 2.67 GAA both of which are below his career averages of 91.8% and 2.36 GAA.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock recently became only the third coach in league history to reach the 800 win mark.
Get ready for a grinding, possession heavy style of play for the home team or in other words a typical Hitchcock style game.
Gonna be a tough one tonight. Here’s to hoping the Blues finally turn the corner.
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.