Yes, the Blues are playing way better under Yeo overall, especially in terms of doing what's needed to win games and didn't have the classic "let down" game we've seen over the past 6 years. The forwards not immediately waiting beyond center ice on line changes is a major change. The wingers actually working their whole wing in the defensive zone and not just the top 3rd of it is another major change. The Blues, as a team defensively, are actually defending the whole defensive zone and not just the bottom half. This has dramatically reduced high danger scoring chances against - which was a real problem before Yeo took over. Overall, the Blues are giving up more shots on goal/game, but they aren't good shots from low in the slot or inside the faceoff dots. They are also denying that late trailer play where the puck would go from behind the net out high to someone entering the zone late. This was another huge problem. So Yeo has fixed this team in some very significant ways.
Yes, the Blues could use some improved scoring.
Yes, the Blues schedule is soft so we could see improved scoring, but it be due to the opponent.
However, that same soft schedule and improved scoring could have the team playing more confidently entering the playoffs. Kind of a Catch-22 and we don't know which way that will shake out.
What I'm afraid of - Sanford and/or Barbashev get put back on the bench over Jaskin/Yakupov/Lehtera/Paajarvi simply because the four are "bigger and experienced" even though none of them are more skilled than those two. And letting them play even when not producing will continue into the playoffs. Skill with speed, not size-speed-experience, are more critical in the playoffs now. Ask the Penguins.
This is a great post.
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