Back when I was writing season previews, I mentioned that maybe the West wouldn’t be a four horse race. I tossed out the possibility that the Arizona Coyotes, who had a pretty decent showing in the playoff bubble, could very easily play a spoiler if the Blues or Minnesota Wild stumble.
I hate being right.
As of this morning, the Blues aren’t in a playoff spot; the Coyotes are now in fourth by one point. Last night’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche was the Blues’ fifth in a row. You have to turn the calendar back to March 20th to find a Blues win, one against the San Jose Sharks. The team’s vacillated between looking bored to looking like they could win another Cup if they could just solve this or that hot goalie.
Last night, they just played flat in stretches. David Perron and Mike Hoffman did what they were paid to do. Perron, especially, has played very well through the Blues’ most recent slump, and has looked like the player most interested in breaking it.
Jordan Binnington let in a couple goals that should not have gone in, but when you allow 39 SOG, the law of averages is going to kick in and a bad goal is going to get scored.
This might look bad, and it’s certainly not good:
Since a 3-2 overtime win Feb. 18 over San Jose, Jordan Binnington has won 2 of 13 starts (2-8-3) with a 3.22 GAA and .888 save percentage.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) April 3, 2021
Quite frankly, it’s a matter of the chicken or the egg. The Blues have taken games - or even whole series - off from playing defense. There’s not a lot of urgency in taking away space from the opposition’s top players, or any of their players, frankly.
Every post-game press conference sounds exactly the same. They know what’s going wrong, or at least that something is going wrong. You’re not going to get detailed breakdowns from any of the players or coaches, you’re just going to get levels of anger from coach Craig Berube.
The solution to this is to win. And then win again. The trick is being able to actually do that. We’ll see tonight how far any adjustments will go.