The St. Louis Blues are in the midst of a five game losing streak that has left many in Blues nation questioning the heart and determination of this team. During the club’s recent bye week the general attitude of most fans was that although the Blues were definitely not a championship caliber team most agreed that, due to the team’s relatively easy schedule, they should at least make the playoffs.
Well, after Friday nights pitiful loss to the Winnipeg Jets, many have had to rethink that theory. And it is starting to appear that some, including myself, are growing rather tiresome of the lackadaisical effort that many of the Blues players are bringing to the rink.
It is one think to flat out suck. That is at least understandable if not excusable. But there is absolutely no way this team should be as bad as they are playing right now.
Once again, lack of talented finishers has led to an embarrassing lack of offensive production. Players like Steen, Schwartz, Lehtera, Perron, Parayko and sometimes even Tarasenko have been all but invisible when the team has needed them the most.
Steen: 2 G/12 GP— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) March 4, 2017
Parayko: 2 G/20 GP
Schwartz: 3 G/35 GP
Perron: 2 G/27 GP
Petro: 2 G/30 GP
Lehtera: 2 G/32 GP
Bo: 1 G/62 GP#stlblues
And it is unfortunate because the Blues have actually been getting some extremely solid goaltending for a change. But no matter who is in net whether it is Jake Allen or Braden Holtby, if no one on your roster can score it is going to be hard to get a win.
Despite a surge after Mike Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock it appears that the Blues have again fallen back into some old habits. A failure to win board battles, hesitant to shoot the puck, no second chances, no physical presence in front of the net, Lehtera paired with Tarasenko, it is starting to sound like the second verse of an all to familiar song.
It feels like the players have taken Doug Armstrong’s comments about the Blues not being a cup contender as an excuse to half ass their way through the rest of the season. Which is, quit frankly, a bunch of fucking bullshit.
This team and these players owe it to the fans to at least perform at a level that we all know they can. Doug Armstrong has fumbled this season, no one is arguing that, but this team is still more than capable of making the playoffs. Especially when you consider the strength of their remaining schedule.
Tonight the Blues take on the Colorado Avalanche and if ever there was a must win game, I think tonight is it.
The Avalanche are not good. We know that and they know that. With a grand total of 37 points they are far and away the worst team in the NHL.
If ever there was an opponent to get back on track offensively they would be the one. After tonight the Blues play the Avalanche three more times and anything short of eight points from those four games should be considered a monumental middle finger from the Blues to fans everywhere.
The general consensus is that it will take somewhere right around 90 points to make the playoffs. If that theory holds true then the Blues are going to have to win 12 of there remaining 19 games. If you take 4 away from that 12 then the task doesn’t seem that daunting.
However, if this team, with their backs against the wall, can’t find a way to beat a team like the one tonight then I think it’s safe to say that all hope is pretty much lost.
Do I think the Blues deserve to make the playoffs? When you consider the way the players and the front office have coasted through this season with their ambivalence towards the game, I would say definitely not. Especially when teams like the Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild went out and improved their roster at the deadline and have continued to fight tooth and nail for every available point.
However, I don’t think the Blues missing the playoffs benefits anyone, regardless of how high the team’s drafting position would go. In order to remain liquid this team has to make the playoffs. Not just for this year’s earnings report but for many years to come.
The Blues had an enormous opportunity this y to grow their fanbase. As of right now, the best they can hope for is not to lose the ones that were already there.