There’s no such thing as a sure thing in the world of sports. Just ask the St. Louis Blues.
The 2018-19 season hasn’t started out like fans would have hoped: more losses than wins.
Instead of winning their first five games by a combined 65 goals and making the opposition drink warm beer, the Blues have gone 1-2-2 to start the season, creating a mini-panic around town, which has in return warmed up cold residents with hot takes on the radio and message boards.
Fire Mike Yeo!
Toss Louie off a roof!
It’s Matheny’s fault!
Everything has been joked about, proclaimed, hinted at, and fried to a crisp about what is wrong with this team. The defense is weak, so a lot of good looks are going on net, with too many goals going in. The offense is producing goals, but also going to sleep for periods at a time. There have been third period collapses and multiple overtime losses. Whatever has gone right simply isn’t good enough to calm the fears that Doug Armstrong’s offseason moves will turn this team around.
Luckily, cups aren’t won or loss in 10 days. The Blues begin their first extended road trip tonight in Montreal, followed by Toronto and a rematch with Winnipeg.
Here’s a few things you need know while you cram down the first few pages of Bernie Federko’s book:
*Jaden Schwartz will be back in the lineup according to the Blues website, so that’s nice. Let’s hope he can make it through three periods.
*Carey Price will be in net for the Canadiens after missing two games with the flu. Antti Niemi won both his games in Price’s place, but the man with that monstrosity of a contract will take it over against St. Louis.
*There has also been chatter about veteran defenseman Karl Alzner making the lineup after missing the first five games.
*According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, Robert Bortuzzo will get another day of rest. In other words, a day where he can’t fuck things up. It’ll be Jordan Schmaltz and Vince Dunn as the third defensive pair.
*Rutherford also notes that young Robert Thomas, who still sips on Pepsi instead of Jack Daniels, will be out tonight. Zach Sanford will make his season debut tonight in Thomas’ place.
*Jake Allen will be back in net...with Blues nation awaiting his first goal allowed. Allen’s 46 saves on Saturday night should have won them the game, but the defense messed that up.
Montreal is 3-1-1 and coming in hot, and the Blues have lost two in a row. There’s adversity seeping into this team already, so a good test on the road should bring some answers.
Yeo won’t lose his job before Thanksgiving, but there’s an urgency to his early season moves that suggest his seat could get very warm. The only thing that can cure that are a few wins.
As the great Art Lippo would say, I hope the Blues found a quality bar and some “relaxation” last night in Canada. They will need their A-game tonight, and there really is one goal: don’t look like a bunch of sloppy bastards and go win a hockey game.