The Blues get to put yet another game two loss behind them and fly to Las Vegas today. You win some, you lose some, but the Blues’ pattern of dropping the second game of two-game sets is getting a little obvious. So obvious, that head coach Craig Berube suggested the team needed an overall attitude check to fix this problem (The Athletic, subscription required):
“Yeah, but [the problems are] caused by attitude, in my opinion,” he said. “Our attitude has got to be better. We got to pull together as a team, that’s what it’s all about. We’ve shown it at times and we’ve won hockey games. But again, the consistency is not there. Compete and work and all that, that’s attitude. That’s just all attitude.”
Asked why the attitude has dipped, especially in the second games, Berube replied: “I don’t know. You should ask the players.”
They take their foot off of the gas after a solid win, like the second one is owed to them, and it’s very clearly not. Nothing is owed to anyone in this league. If you want to beat the opposition, be they the Colorado Avalanche or Los Angeles Kings, you have to work for it. You cannot coast.
Tonight’s a new series, so we might see a different caliber of play from the Blues. They had problems with the Vegas Golden Knights last season, losing both regular matches in overtime after leading at one point during regulation. Zach Sanford even had four goals against them back in February, and the Blues still lost. If the team’s still searching for consistency, maybe they’ll have some extra motivation today to negate how they played against Vegas last year.
They should have some motivation to be consistent, because tonight is their first game against their former captain, Alex Pietrangelo. Petro, to his credit, says he wants to “get it over with.” The Blues need to have that mindset as well. Will it be weird? Sure. Might there still be some simmering feelings about the bad breakup? Only from the fans, probably, who are turning this into a bigger narrative than the players probably feel that it should be.
The real narrative is that Vegas is 5-1 this season. The Blues are 2-3-1. Both teams lost key personnel and added new players, both teams had the exact same amount of time in camp to gel. One team is consistent, one is not. That’s the real story.