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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:40 am 
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ST. LOUIS -- Losses will come during an NHL season, but some hurt more than others.

The word that described the St. Louis Blues' 6-2 drubbing against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night was "disturbing."

"That's disturbing, that's disappointing that we're coming out and ... the turnovers that we had in the first period, instead of making it hard on (Minnesota) and making it a really tough night, we didn't do that," Blues coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. "We made it easy and we allowed them to get going. Yeah, that's something we've got to fix obviously."

The latest setback continues a trend of embarrassing home losses, including a 7-4 loss to Florida on Jan. 9 and a 5-2 loss to Arizona on Jan. 20.

"I wish I had an answer for you but I don't," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo told NHL.com. "The goalies stand on their heads for two months and then we do that to them. Just disconnected all over the ice."

The good news for the Blues is that they have responded with strong home efforts, at least for a few games, immediately following those losses. They hope to continue that as they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

The bad news for the Blues is the trend has continued as the Central Division race has tightened and every point comes at a premium. St. Louis (30-23-3) still sits third in the division with 67 points, but are just five points from being out of a playoff spot and the teams immediately beneath the Blues all have games in hand.

"It's all about urgency," Blues right wing Alexander Steen told NHL.com. "At this time of the year, (it's) urgency and preparation. What you're gonna see now down the stretch, this is where the games start to tighten up, and you're not gonna get anything for free."

Colorado (29-19-4) has 62 points, but sits one point out of a playoff spot. The Avalanche have three games in hand on the Blues.

The Blues beat the Avalanche 3-1 at Scottrade Center on Jan. 25. The Blues are 15-3-3 in their last 21 games against the Avalanche.

The Avalanche are coming off a 3-1 win at home over San Jose on Tuesday. Colorado did that without 25 percent of its goal-scoring as forwards Nathan MacKinnon (shoulder) and Mikko Rantanen (lower body) missed the game.

Rookies Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher stepped up, scoring a goal and an assist each. Goalie Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves.

"We lost two of our best players, (including) one of the best players in the NHL right now," Jost told the Denver Post. "Guys had to step up and I really wanted to be one of those guys. I want to make a difference every time I get on the ice."

In his postgame press conference, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Rantanen could return Thursday at St. Louis.

"It's something every team goes through," Bednar told the Post after the team's morning skate Tuesday. "Every team in the league is going through injuries to some high-profile guys."

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:21 am 
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Bettman will be at the game tonight. Not sure what the occasion is.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:55 am 
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Man, what to say? After the most recent "disturbing" "unacceptable" loss, one almost gets the feeling that this seemingly random game is an identity check for this team.

Can't blame it on the lack of Schwartz anymore.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:58 am 
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Just throwing something out there...

Before the return of Bouwmeester, Steen, and Berglund, the Blues were playing very well.

Upon Steen's return, he is immediately given 1st/2nd line status along with first PP unit status while the guys who had been producing were bumped down/off those lines. Steen has barely produced this season. So why isn't he being bumped to the 3rd line?

Sobotka was playing very well when paired with Statsny and Tarasenko. Why not put that back together?

Schenn and Schwartz are fine. So why not add Thompson to that duo adding a right-handed shot to that line? Thompson is good on the puck, just as Schwartz is. It should work.

Speaking of Thompson - first PP unit - Schwartz, Thompson, Tarasenko, Dunn, Pietrangelo. Thompson can play center. He's the right-handed shot that's missing. Put Schwartz on the wing where is better creating. Put Tarasenko in his roaming role and provides two different looks from the points with both right and left shots. Instead, we will see the all lefty power play which doesn't work. I get the idea, but doing this tells the opponent before the puck is even dropped where the power play wants to set up and makes it easier to defend. You would think a head coach who is supposedly a special teams guy would get this. Whereas a balanced unit - with both right and left hand shots can set up anywhere and make plays from anywhere simply by players skating to new positions.

Of course, this means bumping Steen to the 3rd line - where he should be based on his play this season, but our coach simply won't do that, because - OMG - Steen is such a good veteran player... blah blah blah.

Sit Berglund or just cut his minutes. Brodziak has been playing way better this season. Give him the ice time Berglund is getting, but doesn't deserve.

Sit Bouwmeester for a couple of games and see how the D performs without him. The worst that could happen is the Blues keep losing. So what? They aren't winning consistently right now, anyway.

Sometimes it takes actually doing things regardless of what management has paid someone or what a player has done in the past. Unfortunately, our current head coach is relying too much on long-term past performance, instead of looking at what this roster did this season minus 3 players who are getting more ice time than they deserve based on their play since returning.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:14 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
Bettman will be at the game tonight. Not sure what the occasion is.


According to STLToday,
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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in town Thursday as the Blues continue their bid to host the 2020 All-Star Game.


So most likely he's checking out the facilities and meeting with organizational staff to see if Scottrade/St. Louis would make a good location for the ASG.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:09 am 
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gaijin wrote:
cardsfan04 wrote:
Bettman will be at the game tonight. Not sure what the occasion is.


According to STLToday,
Quote:
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be in town Thursday as the Blues continue their bid to host the 2020 All-Star Game.


So most likely he's checking out the facilities and meeting with organizational staff to see if Scottrade/St. Louis would make a good location for the ASG.


Ahh, that makes sense. It would be cool to have the ASG here I guess.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:35 am 
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Me'thinks Steen is finished and so is Bouwmeester, and Berglund is only good for a spurt or two a season. Giving any kind of ice time on any line for a guy based solely on their status as a veteran is pure and utter nonsense. Trade all three of them or fire Yeo and hire a guy who will play the right players for the job.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:45 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
Me'thinks Steen is finished and so is Bouwmeester, and Berglund is only good for a spurt or two a season. Giving any kind of ice time on any line for a guy based solely on their status as a veteran is pure and utter nonsense. Trade all three of them or fire Yeo and hire a guy who will play the right players for the job.


As appealing as it sounds to jettison the so-called "dead weight" (Steen, Stastny, Berglund, Bouwmeester, Sobotka?), what we're then left with is Tarasenko, Schenn and Schwartz, then a yuge talent dropoff to guys like Jaskin, Sundqvist, Brodziak, Upshall and Thorburn, and then the "youngsters": Barbashev, Thompson, Sanford. I don't know if I'm comfortable with that. Although, to be fair, I also admit they probably couldn't do much worse than the guys named above, and would probably be willing to give that a try, comfort level be damned.

The problem is we have too many 3rd- and 4th-line quality players that are getting 1st- and 2nd-line money and playing time.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Hindsight time - they could've kept Backes for what they are paying Berglund and Steen. At least Backes is still effective. I know the argument was paying a guy whose in his 30s for 5 years... but that's exactly what they did with Steen - just for a little less, but not that much less. Which would've forced the team's hand into injecting at least one younger player more than they have currently.

What is annoying is seeing several teams understanding the current game is about speed and skill and injecting youth to maximize their chances, while we continue to see a head coach trying to get this team to play "heavy", instead, favoring size and veterans over speed and skill.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Thomas, Kyrou, Kostin, Blais, Thompson, Kaspick, Stevens... throw them all in there, sink or swim, learn together and give them a coach who will play them properly and develop them accordingly. This team spins wheels too much, what could it possibly hurt to just launch a full blown youth movement?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:22 pm 
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pretty much a must win game (as all divisional games are at this point). Of course, every time this has crossed my mind at late, the Blues don't show up and its over by the middle of the first. Hopefully, they'll get back on track.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Don't expect much from the 1st line tonight - Steen/Stastny/Tarasenko. Every time this combo has been put together, it hasn't done much.

2nd unit - Berglund?? with Schenn and Schwartz. Seriously??

Maybe Jaskin/Sobotka/Thompson can do something.

Fighting at the start - fine...but taking Schenn off the ice for probably 2 shifts isn't that smart, no matter what Panger is saying.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:20 pm 
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Schenn with the fight off the opening faceoff. That was unexpected. Hopefully it works.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:28 pm 
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Schenn knocks in Schwartz's rebound on The PP!!! Blues lead 1-0!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Steen hits the post! He's been playing better lately.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:21 pm 
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Schenn knocks in his 2nd! Blues ahead 3-1!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:28 pm 
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Brodziak buries a loose puck for a 4-1 lead!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Good kill!!!

Pietrangelo scores on a beautiful pass from Dunn!!! Blues lead 5-1!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:39 pm 
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Pietrangelo scores on a beautiful pass from Dunn!!! Blues lead 5-1!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Great 2nd Period for The Blues. The last time they had 5 goals after 2 periods was 2016.

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