As the St. Louis Blues team room remains closed as I start writing this, let me tell you about a shitty night down at Enterprise Center for the rogues in blue that ended in a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. By the end of this recap, you may not learn anything new about this team, but you may know there is a new head coach in town.
Pardon me if I don’t embed and link up all the videos of the goals. This team isn’t worth that much trouble and work. I’ll just tell you the barebone facts of what occurred tonight between the Blues and Blue Jackets.
The Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead in 14 minutes into the first period, giving off all the jubilation of a car running on fumes intent on crashing into a ditch. Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a shot from behind the Columbus net. Before long, Jaden Schwartz jumped on the scoring wagon. Things were good, but the descent was imminent.
The Blues simply decided to cave in during the second period instead of the third. After Columbus grabbed a late goal in the first, they tallied three goals in the first ten minutes of the second period. That’s right...in time I took in putting my kid to bed and filling up my glass of Maker’s Mark, the Blues lost the lead and the control of the game.
They never recovered. Alexander Steen scored on a nifty shot from the slot to make it 4-3, but in the third period, the Blue Jackets erupted for three straight goals again, burying the Blues and everyone in attendance at Enterprise Center in a cloud of “eat shit and get out.”
To say this is unacceptable isn’t giving a bad game enough dirty credit. The Blues have either blown a lead early or late, leaving little goodwill for fans who stick around for a full 60 minutes. It’s like watching a Michael Myers movie. He gets knocked down, walks slower than a one legged cowboy, and still manages to ruin people’s day. Watching the Blues is like watching a cheesy 80’s horror flick. You can sit there and hope for something different, but in the end, the bad thing happens and smiles become nonexistent.
Jake Allen, the most polarizing player in St. Louis, allowed three or more goals for the seventh time in eight games. He was pulled for Chad Johnson, who didn’t fare much better. It’s not all Allen’s fault, but it’s sure not a pretty look for the guy saddled with “win or get out” expectations this month.
Tarasenko spent the postgame defending his teammates and Yeo, saying they will get it right Saturday. If there is one thing you can say about #91, he cares deeply about putting on a good show for the fans. This is killing him and others to come out on the wrong side of games and do so in such embarrassing fashion.
But eventually someone has to answer for the performance. Unfortunately for Yeo, it’s easier to fire a head coach than bench a goaltender or shake up the roster in October. Going into the night, I wrote for the esteemed St. Louis Game Time paper (book for the literary as fuck crowd) that Yeo’s seat would get warm if the team didn’t improve. In other words, sustain success.
Now, the Blues have two wins in nine games, and a few nasty losses and a few straight-up collapses. According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, they are are league’s worst third period team when it comes to giving up goals.
With three more third-period goals against tonight, the Blues have given up 18 this season, which is the most in the NHL. #stlblues— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) October 26, 2018
In the postgame presser, Yeo talked about pushing his players, working through the emotion, and said the other standard things one would after another pulverizing loss. He agreed that his job should be in question, sounding like a man at ease with either future.
If Yeo doesn’t go tonight, it will happen soon unless the Blues turn this thing around. I’m talking about a three-game winning streak with 60 minute commitment and smart play. I am not talking about a couple narrow wins and overall sloppy play. Play like you belong or admit there is a big problem.
Here’s the facts. The Blues are 2-4-3 for SEVEN points through the first three weeks of play. That’s rough, disappointing, and worse when you consider the matter with which they are losing hockey games.
Thanks for reading. Time for a Kentucky Mule to finish off this night.