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Blues defense, goalkeeping collapse in embarrassing 6-2 loss in Nashville

Once on a five game losing streak, the Predators erupted to punish the Blues.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brayden Schenn blasted a one-timer into the roof of the net to make the score 2-1 midway through the second period. The Blues looked like they may break the game wide open against a Predators team on a five game skid. Instead, Schenn’s goal was the last time the Blues looked remotely interested in scoring for the remainder of the game.

The Blues stalling on offense was somewhat to be expected though. The Blues have looked toothless in their three previous games. However, Craig Berube made it clear that the primary focus coming into this game was on fixing the offense and generating more second and third chance opportunities. Instead, Berube has to pick up the pieces in a hurry as his squad dropped their third straight game after an atrocious defensive performance and suspect goalkeeping led them to a 6-2 defeat.

Nashville’s fourth goal perfectly encapsulates the game from the Blues’ perspective. With Justin Faulk rotated deep in the zone, Robert Thomas whiffed on a 50/50 puck that a Nashville defender poked forward to create one of the numerous three-on-one opportunities that the Predators enjoyed. After Thomas Greiss made a weak first save on a routine wrister, Tony Krug looked disinterested in clearing the puck at his feet. Krug’s lackadaisical effort allowed Ryan Johansen to casually pass the puck into the back of the net to seal the game for the Predators.

While defense’s poor effort certainly did no favors for Greiss, the backup goalie looked lost on the ice. Greiss gave up three rebound goals and two additional soft goals. Former Blue Zach Sanford scored a wrap-around that should have been a routine save to give the Predators the lead nearing the end of the second period. For the second soft goal, Nashville whiffed on a shot that hit the boards. While Greiss was pre-occupied with a defender in the crease, the puck bounced off his pads and eventually found its way into the back of the net.

While the Blues have several key injuries, there is simply no excuse for the Thursday’s performance. Regardless if you pin the loss on Greiss or the defense, it was hard to spot any player in a white jersey who gave a winning effort. Six games into the season, it is far too early to hit the panic button. However, if the Blues give a similar effort with Binnington in net against the Canadians on Satruday, the team will find themselves at the bottom of the Central Divison when October ends.