Nights like tonight prove why it's so hard to be a fan of the St. Louis Blues. Leading two games to zero, the Blues dropped Game 3. Leading in Game 4 by a score of 2-0, the Blues fell 4-3. As we've seen countless times during the regular season, the Blues played a stretch of very strong hockey. Leading and looking to more or less put LA away, the Blues faded like they have so many times during the regular season.
Killer instinct – gone. Desire – gone. Passion – gone. The Blues have the strangest ability to go from looking like a Cup contender to a joke in a matter of moments. One minute they're up two, the next they're whiffing on passes, giving the puck away, making bad decisions and leaving Kings open in front of Brian Elliott.
Give credit to the Kings for standing up and fighting back when trailing by two. In fact, examine their effort and compared it to the one from the Blues when the going got tough. LA faced adversity and collectively battled back. You could see the desire in each player's eye. Well, maybe not Dustin Brown's. No one's home in that head.
As for the Blues, the going got tough and the Blues crumbled. No one stood up and made a big play. No one calmed the troops and led by example. Instead, it was one bad pass and one mistake after another. LA was rolling in the third and the Blues sat back and took it. Aside from Jaden Schwartz, no one was skating hard. No one was battling, showing that they actually care what happens in this hockey game. Instead, standing around ruled the day.
Some will point to the decision to play Vladimir Tarasenko as a reason or a cause the Blues lost their chemistry. Well, the team did score three goals tonight. Tarasenko wasn't involved, but the team's offense was statistically at its best with him in the lineup. The issue was that no one was defending. Tarasenko's inclusion shouldn't suddenly make most of the defensemen forget how to play hockey. Tarasenko could have been (and should have been) used more over other struggling forwards, but let's not pin this one on that decision.
What do the Blues need to do heading back to St. Louis for Game 5? Call upon the desire and will that was present for varying stretches of time over the last four games. Show you care. Show that you're not the happiest of individual after getting pushed around in Game 4.