I’ve been thinking a lot about the 2010-2011 Atlanta Thrashers these two weeks. That was a team that went from the top of the Southeast Division standings to apathetic tire fire in two months’ time. I honestly had never seen anything like that tank in all of my years as a hockey fan.
At least they managed to do it a) under rumors of relocation and b) without a seven game losing streak.
One of my friends reminded me of former Thrashers coach John Anderson and his post-game pressers. They were never happy affairs (after being present for one, one of my other friends suggested we go kick a puppy to cheer up), and Anderson used the word “fragile” in excess. Mentally fragile, physically fragile, whatever: that team was Italian.
But Anderson did have a phrase that he used that was pretty spot on: the give-a-crap meter. The Thrashers’ give-a-crap meter was at zero. Where are the Blues on theirs?
Mike Yeo pointed out a shockingly long list of players who he thought played well last night in the Blues 8-3 loss to the Wild: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Alexander Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Kyle Brodziak, Scottie Upshall and Dmitrij Jaskin.
The fourth line was fine. Tarasenko had two goals. Pietrangelo had one. The rest of those guys? It seems like a stretch.
Yeo can be as “fuming” as he wants to be after losses like the Blues have suffered - they haven’t won a game since February 9th. The team isn’t responding. They didn’t respond to Paul Stastny getting dealt. They, as usual, are not stepping up when key players are injured. There’s no collective responsibility in that locker room or on the ice right now.
Even the Detroit Red Wings, who waived the white towel at the trade deadline by dealing Petr Mrazek and Thomas Tatar, aren’t a team in that situation. They’re still slogging through restructuring and rebuild, but I haven’t read word one questioning the team’s character or drive.
The Wings are 26-26-10 right now, and just like the Blues, outside of the playoff picture. The Blues could get back into it whenever they decide to remember to show up for a hockey game. The Wings are flat-out out of the race barring a massive miracle.
They don’t score much, and normally I would say that’s a boon for the Blues, but after this stretch of games who knows?
Tonight is a Wednesday Night Rivalry game, the third nationally broadcast game for the Blues this week. If NBCSN is trying to scramble the deck chairs for a better game to have Pierre and Eddie return on, I can’t blame them. Might I suggest Buffalo at Tampa Bay? At least one of those two teams will be fun to watch.