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Blues experiencing ‘adversity’ after months of ‘smooth sailing’

Apr 9, 2014, 11:44 AM EST

Capitals Blues Hockey AP

Three straight regulation losses. Four in the last six games. Six in the last 11. The St. Louis Blues, a team many have been picking to win the Stanley Cup, are going through a tough stretch, and with the playoffs right around the corner.

“It’s been pretty smooth sailing for us through the year,” said veteran Brenden Morrow after last night’s 4-1 home defeat to Washington, per the Post-Dispatch.  “Now we’re finding some adversity, and now we’re going to find out what we’re made of.”

Despite the loss, the Blues still dominated the Capitals in terms of puck possession, as this chart from Extra Skater shows:

source:

In fact, Washington only managed 22 shots on Ryan Miller, with four of them going in. It was the second straight tough outing for Miller, who was traded from Buffalo to St. Louis at the deadline. On Saturday, he allowed four goals on 29 shots in a 4-0 loss to Colorado.

Offensively, meanwhile, the Blues have managed just five goals in their last five games.

“I had three really good looks tonight and didn’t convert on them,” forward Alex Steen said, per the News-Democrat. “I have to be a lot better. I have to be able to put those away.”

St. Louis plays the Wild in Minnesota on Thursday.

  1. bcsteele - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Blues didn’t play worth anything until 5 minutes into the third which isn’t good enough. Miller has been average which is a disappointment to say the least. They have about a week to figure this out or I fear my team may be looking at early exit again. Which would just be a total meltdown (nothing compared to Toronto) compared to the year they’ve had.

    I’m not freaking out yet, but come on, this is not the same team I’ve watched all year. Morrow is right, we’re about to find out exactly what we can overcome. If we can’t figure things out here we don’t deserve to go far.

    All that said, the play offs are the playoffs and I’ve seen team go in with terrible end of season records and just turn it on (hence why I’m not freaking out yet) but I would rather not go in that way.

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      No goalie is stopping the Ovi goal and the Ovi-to-Backstrom goal. This is not the time to panic; Hitch has everything under control.

    • hammerhead5573 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      BC, you are correct to not panic just yet. The Blues are playing teams right now which are fighting for their lives for one reason or another. The Hawks trying to get their mojo back, the Caps trying to make it in, etc etc. I am by no means an apologist for the Blues, but I will say I’m a realist. In my opinion it seems recently the Blues have been extremely physical and not being able to maintain that throughout the entire game has haunted them. Being physical is not always a winning recipe. With that said if they play this way the remainder of regular season and go into playoffs this way, it could be ugly. As a Hawks fan, I hope they meet each other though, it has potential to be best series this year.

    • bcsteele - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      I agree with both y’all to a degree. Miller or anyone would be hard pressed to stop the Ovi and Backstrom goals…but what about the Grabovski goal? Short side with no screen? That was during a time in the game we were just starting to get something going also. If that’s a save you could be looking at a whole different game. Those moments will be key in the playoffs. As far as playing these teams that are fighting for their playoff lives…what do you think the playoffs themselves will be like? It’s like that every game. I’m just hoping they get the wake up call now and don’t lull into the playoffs. This may very well be what they needed to wake them up (this losing streak) or it could be their undoing. Again, not panicking yet, but just concerned.

  2. dwoklives - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Blues are definitely playing teams fighting for playoff spots but they’ve looked slow and sloppy. Backes being out for any significant amount of time could kill us. We pretty much need everyone playing to be successful.

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