After a disappointing loss in San Jose on Thursday night, a loss in which they were outshot 13-26 including 2-15 in the fourth period, the Blues currently find themselves trailing the Kings by 4 points for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
It is getting harder and harder to put a positive spin on this current group of players. Whether you want to blame it on injuries, poor roster construction, a division in the locker room, or just bad luck something is not right with this team.
Maybe the hot start to the season was a bit misleading but the putrid amount of offense that this team has struggled to create over the last three months is deeply disturbing. Yes, this team is not as talented as some people been were led to believe but as the old saying goes, even a blind pig finds an acorn every once and a while.
In fact, if one where to casually glance at the team’s stats it would appear that the team is going out of its way not to score goals, especially when Jake Allen is in net.
#stlblues scored two of these goals with Allen on the bench, so ... it's 527:02 of game action and TEN goals scored while he's actually in goal. So that averages out to one goal per 53+ minutes. That's even more ridiculous when you think about it. https://t.co/bJf8ZVO7eO— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) March 9, 2018
Allen has not been perfect this season by any stretch of the imagination but no goalie is going to be able to win with a team that is basically averaging one goal per game.
Ironically, this season if there was a goaltender who was capable of posting a shutout every game it would be the Blues own Carter Hutton. Hutton still leads the league in GAA (2.02) and Save Percentage (.934). One can only imagine horrible the Blues record would look right now had it not been for the outstanding play of their “backup” goaltender.
Unfortunately, #StarterHutton was hurting during Thursday’s practice. He has been listed as day to day and did not skate on Friday, mostly likely meaning he will not dress for the game today.
Ville Husso has been recalled from San Antonio and while he did not arrive in time for the game on Thursday he will be on the bench for today’s game in the event that Hutton is still unavailable. Until Hutton returns to health Jake Allen will be the team’s net minder and if he continues with the same level of play that he demonstrated Thursday night goaltending will be the least of the Blues worries.
Goal scoring, or the lack there of, will be at the front of everyone’s mind as the Blues take to the ice today. They have been shutout in three of their last six games and have not scored more than three goals in over a month.
Or in other words:
So in a last ditch effort to shake some goals out of this barren roster head coach Mike Yeo has decided to reunite the line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Yeo had this to say about the trio:
“They had a real good practice together, they looked good. For me, a big part of it too, those are three very skilled offensive players. I thought we had lines that had no identity, guys that were trying to make cute plays that shouldn’t be making cute plays, I think it puts them in a situation now, a little bit different mindset, a little bit more of a workmanlike attitude, I think that will help as well.” [stltoday.com]
According to Tom Timmerman of the Post-Dispatch Dmitrij Jaskin, who had been flanking Schwartz and Schenn, has been demoted to a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Nikita Soshnikov. Ivan Barbashev drops down to center the fourth line along with Tage Thompson and Chris Thorburn meaning that Oskar Sundqvist will make his return to the press box.
Generally speaking it is usually not a good idea to put all of your talent on one line but in the case of the Blues there isn’t much to lose, except their losing streak.
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.