In a nutshell...
- Far too often nobody is picking up guys cruising through the slot.
- They aren't blocking as many shots as they should be.
- Far too many of their shots in the offensive zone are getting blocked.
- Most of their shots in the offensive zone that get through are low percentage bad angle shots. Very few high percentage shots are getting through.
- The offensive zone cycle just isn't working like it used to, which leads to very little sustained offensive pressure. We're getting outworked and we're getting beat to the puck.
- We've had too many cases of guys trying to do it all themselves in the offensive zone, and end up doing nothing. I can't remember the last time I saw so many one-man-efforts along the boards and curling towards the slot (looking at you Perron). I like the idea once in a while, but it's happening too often. It's not working enough to warrant trying it that much.
- We're not drawing enough penalties. Our PP is absolutely killer. We need to be on it more often, as that is the only way we are getting goals anymore. Hard work draws penalties...we're just not working hard enough.
- We need to get some big saves from Elliott while Halak is out. He's just not making the big save anymore. And far too many shots are going through him (bad goals), especially 5-hole, which teams seem to know about since they are purposely going there when in tight. This may be the most concerning issue because the other issues are easily correctable. Goaltending issues scare me. Hopefully whenever Halak returns, Elliott will get some bench time to refocus and right the ship.
Most of these issues can be corrected by simply working your tail off. This is not a team full of superstars. This team's strength comes from their depth and hard work. They don't have enough talent to win on talent alone, and that may be the problem...they might think they are more talented than they actually are, therefore they may not feel like they have to work as hard. I get that to some degree, but you would think against LA, the team that ended their season last year, they would be amped up and ready to steamroll them. But no.
It's very frustrating because this team is better than this. Much better. Maybe we need some healthy scratches or some kind of shakeup to smack these guys in the face and wake them up...because watching this team sucks right now.
2014-2015 Sponsor -- Blues Asst. Coach Kirk Muller