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After Friday’s practice, it’s all systems status quo

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The only change is Bouwmeester gets a promotion.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Are you guys ready to see the once-dynamic duo of Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo reunited? Because you’re seeing it tomorrow night.

The thing is, the Blues can only do so much with what they have. As Jim Thomas points out, the Blues have to look inward to improve. Reinforcements will be here as soon as next Thursday, but they’re not going to postpone games until Thursday night. They’re not signing any new players, and Mike Yeo is still employed.

Literally no one will be happy with any of the quotes Yeo gave Thomas after the practice was over. He’s not wrong, per se, but you’ll recognize something here in his words if you’ve been a Blues fan longer than five years.

“As coaches, we have to simplify our game as much as possible for the players and try to really give them something to hone in on and focus on. (Something) that helps them prepare, helps them visualize what the game should look like. And make sure that they go out there and bring it.”

“This is a game obviously, where you need Xs and Os, and you need systems,” Yeo said. “And you need tactics and all that kinda stuff. At the end of the day though, it’s how hard you play in that system. It’s how detailed you are with that system, and how together and on the same page you are with that system. So that’s what we gotta get to.”

Yeah. It’s that time. It’s that awkward lame duck time when a coach can read the writing on the wall. Yeo isn’t panicking and mixing things up - the lines at practice were basically the same, with Bouwmeester and Dunn switching places again. To be honest, mixing things up while you’re trying to fix problems will confuse the process.

But maybe, maybe the system isn’t working. If it doesn’t work, lines won’t matter. We’ll see the same lines Saturday night as we did last night because they’ll be running the same system and hoping some deep introspection changes things. That all of a sudden, they’ll start executing the way that they need to. That maybe, just maybe, situational awareness will descend upon the team and they’ll start clearing pucks and paying attention to who they’re covering.

I would love for this to happen. But when you fall down the rabbit hole of mistakes, it’s hard to climb out. Getting your head on straight is harder and harder the looser it is.