posted on April 19, 2013 08:00
Blues, I love you, but I can't take much more of this shit.This early 1990's Atlanta Braves style of hockey you have been playing this month is becoming too much to bear. If it wasn't for timely goaltending from Brian Elliott, Jaroslav Halak, and Jake Allen, this team could easily be under .500 instead of nine games over it.
The Blues have won 13 games this season by one goal. In their past 17 games, the Blues have scored 34 goals or an average of two per game. The power play has been nonexistent since mid-February. They haven't had a multiple power play goal game since a 5-2 victory against Calgary on Feb. 15. There have been 78 man advantages awarded to the Blues since that game and they have only lit the lamp on six of them. That's a booming 8 percent success rate.
The Blues won a spirited 2-1 game against the Coyotes on Thursday night in a shootout and I will tip my cap to the team for being resilient against a tough Phoenix team. With that being said, this brand of hockey cannot continue if the Blues want to be successful in the playoffs.
I honestly think the Blues’ best game of the season was the opener against the Red Wings. If anyone has that game at their disposal, I invite you to watch the effort the boys put forth in that contest. I don't know if was a product of a short training camp and Detroit just wasn't up for answering the bell that night, but the Blues dominated in every facet of the game. They swarmed and suffocated the Wings every time they had the puck and drove and crashed the net with reckless abandon.
This team needs a sniper and I'm not talking about Lee Harvey Oswald. I just wish someone would step up and put the damn team on their shoulders and say “follow me,” but it seems no one wants the responsibility. For a while I thought Chris Stewart was going to be that guy. But since scoring 16 points in 14 games in March, Stewie has delivered a grand total of two points in ten games in April.
What about David Perron? He has been a favorite of mine since the Blues drafted him in 2007. I don't expect him to be Brett Hull when it comes to goal scoring, but you know things arebad when you purchase milk at the grocery store and No. 57's face is on the carton. Until last night, he hadn't notched a tally in 17 games and only had five points in his last 20. He has to be more greedy when it comes to shooting the rubber.
Another personal favorite of mine is Patrik Berglund. I have engaged in many heated discussions over the past couple of years in regards to the topic of trading the big Swede. I am opposed to it. Six-foot-four hockey players who display the ability to score 25-30 goals per season don't grow on trees. He has been unfairly compared to the Sedin twins and I honestly don't see the likeness (lucky for him because they resemble aliens). The only frustration I have with Bergy is that he doesn't play to his frame 100 percent of the time. When he does, he's the most dominating player on the ice. He's only scored twice in his last 18 games. He needs to pick up the pace.
My BFF Alex Steen is another leader who needs to deliver more on the stat sheet. I believe had it not been for his unfortunate concussion last season, he would have been a finalist for the Selke Trophy. He leads the Blues in shots, but is tied for fifth on the team in goals. He has scored two goals in his last 18 games.
Andy McDonald is having his worst year statistic-wise as a Blue. He has five goals to go along with 17 points in 31 games. He has only scored three goals in his past 30 games. As much as I would hate to see it, I wouldn't be surprised if the Blues go in another direction when McDonald hits free agency this July. His days are numbered here.
Finally, you have the captain. I think David Backes puts too much pressure on himself at times and it affects his play on the ice. He has two goals in his last 23 games. If he can start chipping in more goals, maybe the leading by example thing will set in for the rest of the team.
If the Blues don't start scoring more goals, don't be surprised to see Brian Elliott pull the Ron Hextall and start firing pucks on opposing goaltenders. The man has been standing on his head since he returned from press box purgatory. Elly is sporting a 7-1 record after being inserted back into the starting lineup. He has given up eight goals on 204 shots for a .966 save percentage. There's only so much he can do.
Give him some damn help boys.