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Blues at Flames preview: Play smarter

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The last time these two teams met, it was an embarrassment for the Blues.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday afternoon, Blues fans got treated to an absolute gong show on home ice as their team was humiliated by the Calgary Flames 7-2. It was the Blues’ last home game before Christmas and the game after a solid 4-3 overtime win against the Avalanche. The Blues have had many opportunities to mortify their fans, and have taken most of them, but Sunday’s game felt worse than usual.

Perhaps it was that the Blues allowed four first-period goals. Perhaps it was because they didn’t bother to begin playing until about halfway through the second. Or maybe it was the three power play goals that the usually strong penalty killing unit allowed.

That last one is quick becoming a problem. The Blues have a good PK group, but they’re overworked. The Blues have taken more penalties in the time since Craig Berube has taken over as coach than any other team in the league has, and has done so in fewer games. Granted, many calls were questionable and the Blues have still missed out on some going in their favor, but when a team, on average, gets a too many men penalty every other game there is a lot more going on other than just goofing up or not paying attention.

Paying attention is mandatory against the Pacific-leading Flames. They’re coming off of back to back losses - including a seven round shoot-out against Tampa Bay Thursday night, but have points in their last eleven games. Luckily for the St. Louis, the Blues blew a good first period to lose 5-1 Thursday night, so maybe a comeback is in the cards? Christmas miracles still happen, right?