It’s coming up on mid-March, and the Blues haven’t been playing well. It’s not fundamentally bad across the board, per se. The team hasn’t forgotten how to play; they know exactly what they need to do, but they’re doing it with such a lack of urgency that it’s like they’re playing through a fog. Make a pass? Sure, whatever. Close off the post? Fine. Maybe. Demonstrate situational awareness? Meh.
It’s gotten so bad that on Tuesday night, the malaise rubbed off on the refs and they couldn’t be assed to call penalties that very nearly should’ve been called.
One of those penalties was a hit to the head of Pavel Buchnevich. Buch will be out tonight against his old team, and if he’s concussed, he’ll be out for longer than that, and that’s the last thing the Blues need right now. If they can’t figure out how to play fully staffed, they won’t be able to play without one of the team’s leading scorers.
Just brace yourselves. The flurry of late play helped the Blues not completely get embarrassed, they just lost 5-3. The problem that was evident last week aganist the Rangers - that of a late start - has gotten worse. Against the Islanders, and again against the Devils, the Blues didn’t start focusing until at least halfway through the third period.
Unfortunately on Tuesday, they never bothered to focus at all.
They need to fix that today, especially with explosive goal scorers such as Chris Kreider posing a threat, and goaltender Igor Shesterkin will require actual high danger shots from a high danger area to get some goals in. The Blues solved him despite losing to the Rangers last week; will they have the fortitude to do that again today?