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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:41 am 
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ST. LOUIS -- With a handful of points separating the St. Louis Blues from a top seed or being out of the playoffs in the rugged Central Division, the importance of divisional games is multiplied.

Such is the case as the Blues host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night to start a stretch where St. Louis plays nine of its next 12 against Central Division rivals.

"One game to the next is always so important," Blues goalie Carter Hutton told NHL.com. "You can always find a storyline from it. For us, we just worry about our locker room and what we can do to get the two points."

The date with the Wild is followed by a home game against Colorado on Thursday and a quick trip to Winnipeg on Friday before hosting Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The Blues sit in third in the Central with 67 points. The Wild are in fifth with 61 points but have played two fewer games.

"Obviously, we've got a busy week coming up here, so not going to have a lot of practice time going forward the rest of the week," Blues coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. "It's a big week, some big games coming up here, so we've got to make sure we're prepared."

Yeo wouldn't commit to Hutton or Jake Allen to make the start in goal against the Wild after Monday's skate.

Hutton has won four straight starts and has two shutouts and two goals allowed during that span. Allen took the loss as the Blues fell 3-1 at Boston on Thursday, but he stopped 43 of 45 shots against the Bruins.

The Blues have won four of their last five and are coming off a 1-0 win at Buffalo on Saturday.

"Obviously, Minnesota's a good team," Blues defenseman Colton Parayko told NHL.com. "They play a strong system and we've got to make sure that we have speed and we're playing together and connected tomorrow because that's when we're at our best and we're tough to play against."

The Blues have won four straight and have picked up points in 18 of their last 20 games against the Wild. St. Louis defeated Minnesota 6-3 on Nov. 25 and Minnesota beat St. Louis 2-1 in overtime on Dec. 2.

The Wild are coming off a 6-1 loss to Dallas on Saturday.

"I don't want to use that game as a barometer," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told the Minneapolis Tribune. "We've been doing pretty good up to that point. Now it's time to bounce back."

Improving the penalty kill could be essential to that bounce back. The Wild gave up two power play goals against the Stars and allowed at least one power play goal in their last four games.

"I don't want to say that we don't need to fix it because we do," Boudreau said. "But at the same time, the Pittsburgh game, two of them we put in our own net. The Vegas game at home one goes off somebody's butt. Every little thing is going wrong."

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 am 
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"Obviously, Minnesota's a good team," Blues defenseman Colton Parayko told NHL.com. "They play a strong system and we've got to make sure that we have speed and we're playing together and connected tomorrow because that's when we're at our best and we're tough to play against."


Oh great, now we're doomed to one of our "slow starts."

Three games in four nights, all against division rivals. I wonder if Yeo will start the transition back to Allen by starting him tonight, Hutton on Thursday, then Allen again on Friday.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Hutton in tonight.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Great save by Dubnyk on Tarasenko!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Unfortunate late-period breakdown for The Blues. They've got to get their focus, discipline and hard play back starting at the beginning of The 2nd!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Key Power Play. Blues need to score!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:27 pm 
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:thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:41 pm 
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:thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:48 pm 
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I'm about as big of a Jake Allen apologist as there is. But, this is the second time Hutton has been pulled and Allen promptly lets in a couple goals. He clearly has the talent to be a good number 1, but he's gotta be able to make the best of an opportunity sometime.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:32 pm 
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Jaskin drives the net and buries a shot on a nice feed by Steen! Blues back down by 4.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:42 pm 
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Stastny stick was a long way lower than the crossbar, when he made contact. The Blues were robbed on that one.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:50 am 
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Bouwmeester got abused in the 1st period.

Allen let in 2 really bad goals on the 4th and 5th ones. The 5th one - fundamentally poor stick position. If your stick is out to the side when the puck is coming low at your five hole, you are doing it wrong.

How many times are we going to hear Panger comment on the lack of a right shot when they scratch the right-handed shot (Thompson) to play 7 D? The way they are using Thompson is very reminiscent of what Yeo did to Granlund in Minnesota. Keep playing him on the 3rd line with guys who don't really help, then scratch him for not producing to play veterans at some other position.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:02 am 
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When the Blues have a bad game, they don’t mess around.

Boy, that's no lie.

Here are some of the quotes/analysis from after the game:

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We can’t play like this at home. It’s on me. On us. On the leaders.

Quote:
fits a discouraging pattern

Quote:
the team looking flat and uninspired and unable to stop being flat and uninspired

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From an urgency standpoint that was not acceptable tonight.

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collectively, as a group, we weren’t good enough

Quote:
We’re not going to play like this


And this one sums up pretty much how I feel, and indicates the most worrying aspect of the team (to me):

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every time you think a game is so bad it has taught the team a lesson, they face another trip to the principal’s office


So, we've discussed the question before: what changes? Yeo put them through the paces in practice after the last "unacceptable" loss, but here we are yet again. Clearly it was not a lasting fix.

Yes, if you look only at the last 5-6 games, we've done okay and one loss doesn't ruin a season. But "one loss" (and in spectacularly down-in-flames fashion like this) has been happening much too often for a team that wants to consider itself one of the best. "Unacceptable" is becoming standard.

There are still 26 games to go, but at this point, I really don't see how we make it past Round 1 this year.

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Last edited by gaijin on Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:02 am 
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This team falls into bad habits way too often and has a very hard time digging out of them. That's entirely on the coaching. We know they can score, we know Allen and Hutton are both capable of stopping the puck, the defense is capable of contributing on both ends of the ice, but Yeo and Co. aren't getting them to do it.

You obviously can't expect Yeo to be fired before he's finished a complete season, but he should be. A quick trigger might get all of these knuckleheads to stop being complacent and start coaching and playing hockey the way we all know they can.

Where is this team going in the playoffs? 1st round exit? Maybe 2nd round exit? Not a SCF, that's for sure. Steen is approaching finished, Bouwmeester is approaching finished, Stastny is eating up a ton of cap space--thankfully only for the rest of this season, the 3rd and 4th line aren't the caliber they need to be to compete night in and night out... I'm not saying rebuild, the pieces are already in the system. I am saying make room for them to come out of the gate in October and get a few draft picks in exchange for Steen, Bouwmeester and Stastny because this team isn't winning bo-diddly this year if they keep playing this way are continue to be coached this way.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:48 am 
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7-5-1 vs the Central
25-15-2 vs rest of the league.

With most of the remaining games against the Central, this is an issue. Being .500 in your division, which is where the Blues are about to wind up, isn't good enough.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:59 am 
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7-5-1 is .577 which is a decent bit ahead of .500. It's a 95 point pace which last year would have been good enough for the playoffs.

Worth noting that the sample is so small that a win or loss will swing the percentage to .536 or .607, so we can't draw huge conclusions on what to expect going forward based on the division record.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:47 am 
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glen a richter wrote:
This team falls into bad habits way too often and has a very hard time digging out of them. That's entirely on the coaching. We know they can score, we know Allen and Hutton are both capable of stopping the puck, the defense is capable of contributing on both ends of the ice, but Yeo and Co. aren't getting them to do it.

You obviously can't expect Yeo to be fired before he's finished a complete season, but he should be. A quick trigger might get all of these knuckleheads to stop being complacent and start coaching and playing hockey the way we all know they can.

Where is this team going in the playoffs? 1st round exit? Maybe 2nd round exit? Not a SCF, that's for sure. Steen is approaching finished, Bouwmeester is approaching finished, Stastny is eating up a ton of cap space--thankfully only for the rest of this season, the 3rd and 4th line aren't the caliber they need to be to compete night in and night out... I'm not saying rebuild, the pieces are already in the system. I am saying make room for them to come out of the gate in October and get a few draft picks in exchange for Steen, Bouwmeester and Stastny because this team isn't winning bo-diddly this year if they keep playing this way are continue to be coached this way.


Need to also get rid of Berglund and Sobotka. Berglund was beyond terrible last night. Kerber was calling him out last night on the post game without naming him, but anyone that isn't deaf could hear exactly who he was calling out. Sobotka just doesn't care, and anyone who isn't legally blind could see that last night.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Berglund quit skating on I think the first goal against. 4th Wild player enters the zone and Berglund got caught floating at the blue line. Huge no-no for a center.

But we will keep letting these guys play instead of giving more opportunities to more skilled, younger players. This is Mike Yeo to a tee in how he managed the Wild.

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