A New Trend - Losing After RegulationIn their past three games, the Blues have walked away with a point in each game. While this is an improvement over their couple game pointless streak to end October, to drop three straight after regulation is tough to swallow. At the very least, we can say the Blues have looked a lot better, and have made some huge improvements in their play of late. But, in the closing minutes yesterday against Atlanta and in the OT periods in each of the past three games, the Blues have not looked like a team that can close out a game. The stat that really sticks out: Blues shots on goal in the OT period. Against Calgary - 0 in OT Against Philadelphia - 0 in OT Against Atlanta - 4 in OT Before losing in the shootout against Philadelphia, it was clear the team had no plan for OT, as they survived a wave of attacks yet failed to muster one of their own. At no time did the team look threatening in OT in Philly. Against Atlanta, it was a different story, as the Blues lost their 2-0 lead late in the third period. Can this year get any more frustrating? The improvement shown against some tough teams is encouraging, but the five game losing streak is tough to handle when the Blues should have had a W in at least the game yesterday against the Thrashers. The current spell of bad play has given the Blues an overall record of 5-6-4 (14 points) which is good for fifth in the Central (last) and 14th in the Western Conference (second to last). One thing is very, very clear - the Blues need to get a W and soon. Now, it isn't fair to be all doom and gloom since the team has been improving over the last three games. The energy is back and the hard hitting has come with it. The matchup against Philadelphia might've been the most exciting game of the season thus far. Lately, a few things have stood out.
- Lars Eller. Holy cow, what an impact this kid has made already. Oshie might be the fan favorite still, but Eller sure is making a case for himself. The goal the deflected in off him against Calgary broke the scoring drought. He has made it very clear he is not intimidated even by the biggest of veterans which he showed by getting in Chris Pronger's face in Philadelphia. He adds speed along a physical presence. With more time and experience, he should be able to highlight these skills with his wicked sniper of a wrist shot. Given his play, it would be tough for the Blues to send him back to Peoria, but currently his future remains cloudy.
- Welcome back Andy McDonald and Barret Jackman. Hopefully a healthy Jackman can solidify the Blues blueline.
- Over the past several games we have seen several standout performances by a variety of players, but have yet to see that full, complete team effort.
- 6 points. This is the number of points separating the Blues from a playoff spot.
- The Blues have three games in the next six days - Vancouver on Tuesday, Nashville Thursday and San Jose Saturday. Each game brings a unique challenge, but the most important might be the one Thursday with the Central division Predators.
- The game Tuesday against the Canucks is a rematch from last year's playoffs. The Canucks are 10-8-0 this season.