Another game against a weak opponent, another dropped result. The Blues are making a habit of dominating the stat sheet but failing to show up on the scoreboard. They're also dropping precious, precious points against teams at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Jake Allen received the hook after allowing three goals on seven shots. The move was destined to send a message but it failed to rally the troops as the Blues fell by a disappointing score of three to zero.
The loss to Edmonton was the first home loss for the Blues in the month of March. They are now 4-1-0 at Scottrade in March, but they can improve this record on Thursday vs. LA.
Jake Allen deserved better. He allowed three goals on seven shots, but realistically, how many can you pin directly on the goaltender? I'd say one, but I think a solid argument could be made that Allen wasn't to blame for any of the three he allowed. In fact, Allen made a strong save on a breakaway, only to find the rebound buried by Edmonton because there wasn't a St. Louis defenseman in the picture to clear it out.
The Blues outshot Edmonton 43-19, but walked away with a 3-0 loss. Zero goals on 43 shots. Crazy.
David Perron seems to be involved in more negative plays than positive ones. Whether it's a turnover or simply a bad pass, it seems like he's often making more bad plays than good ones. This might just be my perception, but it's safe to say he is taking way too many penalties and is making way too many errant passes.
In their last four games the Blues have forced 140 shots while allowing 74. They own a 1-3 record.
Breaking that down, the Blues have fired 43-38-25-34, for an average of 35 shots a night. They've allowed an average of 18.5. Again, they're just 1-3 despite dominating the statistics.
Nice to see the Fox Sports Midwest broadcast team recognize what's truly wrong with the Blues. There are times when a team deserves to be called out for their mistakes, and the entire FSMW crew was blunt and honest in their analysis. Too many other broadcast teams out there make excuses for their players/team. FSMW isn't one of them.
Speaking of Fox Sports, the baseball promos are up and running. Brace yourself, hockey fans. Baseball is almost here and it means we'll be seeing lots and lots of Cardinals coverage and commercials during Blues broadcasts.
Alex Steen led the Blues with seven shots against Edmonton. Both Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko took five shots each.
The Blues dropped a total of four points to two of the worst teams in the Western Conference in a matter of three days. This inability to put away even the weakest teams doesn't bode well for the upcoming playoff push.
Menards must have spent a fortune in advertising. I see commercials nearly every break for their stores. There's just one problem - there isn't a Menards close to St. Louis. In fact, the closest ones are in Jefferson City, Cape and Springfield, Illinois. Doesn't seem like the wisest use of ad dollars.
In terms of pure intensity and emotion, the Blues didn't flip the switch until they were trailing by three. Where's this emotion and passion in a close or a tie game? Why wait until it's too late?
Alex Pietrangelo now owns a (-5) plus/minus, second worst on the team behind Jaden Schwartz (-9). You could make a strong argument that Pietrangelo hasn't played nearly as well as was expected from a man that was believed to be a Norris contender. This might make contract talks with the defenseman pretty interesting.
A reminder, the Blues and Ameren are hosting a Tweet-Up on Wednesday, the 27th. Sort of odd that they're holding one on a day where there isn't a game to watch and you know, Tweet about, but it's cool that they are putting something together. Kevin Shattenkirk is supposed to be in attendance.
Vladimir Tarasenko had some nifty moves in this one and several quality chances. He sort of slipped off the radar prior to and just after his injury, but he's starting to show some of that flair that got the hockey world buzzing back when the season started.
If you're a fan of the Kentucky Derby, the race is coming up sooner than you might realize, sitting on May 4th. If you're interested, here's some 2013 Kentucky Derby betting options as well as the horses list for KY Derby 2013. I've never personally gotten into horse racing, but there's obviously a huge market for it.
At some point, the team needs to start playing defense like it did last year - backchecking responsibly, and keeping those <20 shots per game to the outside as much as possible. Far too many odd man breaks and easy tap-ins this year, not picking up the trailing player in the offensive zone, the list goes on and on.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The weird correlation between playing the 200ft Hitchcock system, and the reduction in power play efficiency just gets me.
Also, like I said on Twitter last night, now that the boys have Halak'd and Elliott'd Jake Allen, NOW what do we do? Personally, my inclination would be to pick a guy and stick with him. I'd go with Halak, myself, as he's the most proven commodity of the lot, but if it's Allen, so be it. But with about a third of the season left, it's time for the goalie merry-go-round to stop.
I'd like to think that the Blues save percentage is an aberration...and it probably is. As soon as responsible defense gets played for full games, the goaltending will look mostly like it did last year.
Perron... If the Blues are going to make a value-for-value, shake-up-the-core move, maybe even bring in a top-4 lefty D man, Perron is where I start the conversation on the Blues end. Get him over into the East, where there's a bit more time and space. I think it'll suit his game a whole lot more than the grinding style of the West does. Just make sure to capture a worthwhile piece or pieces in return - for all of his faults this year, and they are legion, dumping him for future considerations is not the kind of move an organization that *should* be on the doorstep of legitimate contention should make.
Not just Pietrangelo, but also Shattenkirk. They're both playing down their value for their upcoming RFA contracts this year, especially with the cap coming down substantially as part of the new CBA. Not that the Blues were going to spend to the new cap, but it will help prevent the kind of predatory offer sheet the Flyers tried to snag Weber with last year.
I don't mind the Cardinals commercials so much. At least they're generally of better quality than the stuff we've suffered through thus far this year.
Regarding intensity, I found myself wondering last year, and again this year, if the Blues really have that "next gear" that we hear about teams reaching for when the going gets tough or the playoffs come up. A lot of times, it seems like the Blues have two gears, but the second one is a lower gear, where they glide for a bit rather than pressing, and then good teams just dismantle them.
Regarding Tarasenko, and the team generally, I can understand shaking up lines within a game when the chemistry is just not there for whatever reason, but we're two thirds of the way through the year now - isn't it about time to actually pick a lineup and stick with it so the boys can generate that long-term chemistry? That said, earlier in the season, I wouldn't have been for it, but I think the Vladi/Vlad/X line has been impressive thus far.
@miendiem Good point with line combinations. Remember how hot the Stewart line was? I understand splitting them up with the hopes of spreading the wealth, but now the offense as a whole is struggling and none of the lines are hot.
@David Rogers That kind of jump-start technique I can understand for a few shifts in a game when nothing is happening. But what's the point in taking a line like that (or the Tarasenko/Steen/AMac line that started the year so hot) and breaking them up permanently as soon as they hit one game that they perform poorly? To make the baseball comparison, it frustrates me as much as LaRussa's bullpen usage used to. Difference being, LaRussa got results often enough throughout a given season to keep at least some of the detractors at bay.