Blues Show Up for Two, Disappear Late
Why is it whenever the fans around St. Louis start really getting their hopes up, say after an impressive three game road win streak, the Blues seem to turn in an effort that is really just … puzzling – and frustrating. So long three game win streak and hello two game losing streak. The Blues are not only quickly becoming one of the most frustrating teams to follow but also are making a great case for fans to stay home and not fill the Scottrade.
6-12-2. That’s ugly. That’s giving your home fans no reason to come out and spend their money to fill the seats when they could just watch from home (unless you’re a Dish Network person, but that’s a whole other issue). Tonight the Blues skated pretty well through two periods and carried a lead of 3-2 into the final frame. Guess what happened. If the game was on the road, you’d likely say the team closed it out, but if the game was at home, as tonight unfortunately was, you likely already know the Blues let another win slip away.
Alexander Steen gave the Note an early lead, tallying his 4th of the year midway through the first. Buffalo answered five minutes later through Jochen Hecht, and the period ended tied 1-1. No sign of the trouble that was looming in the distance.
The second period saw Buffalo take their first lead with Mike Grier scoring to make it a 2-1 contest. The Blues stepped up their game and scored the next two, closing out the second period up 3-2 thanks to Eric Brewer and Steen with his second of the night.
And then the third period happened. Sounds familiar, right? It might not be on the scale of the Edmonton debacle, but it still is two points that got away on home ice. Buffalo scored three goals in the final frame while the Blues never could quite find an answer. Grier added his second of the night while Tim Connolly lit the lamp twice.
The fifth goal stung the most. The Blues took to the power-play with roughly five minutes remaining. The Sabres pressured whomever was in control of the puck, which led to a two-on-two headed toward the Blues’ net. Cue some of the worst defending we have seen all season. Both defenders went after the puck carrier while Connolly skated in behind the play and notched a short handed effort that essentially closed the door on another disappointing night.
I myself am a die hard Blues fan, as I am sure most of you who read this have a passion for the team as well, but to the casual observer, this is a tough side to get behind. There is just so much talent on this team, it boggles the mind how play in the third period can just be that poor, or uninspired until it is too late.
The three game win streak through Canada was impressive, but maybe it is a sign of what the future might hold rather than what we should expect on a regular basis. No page appears to be turned, no lessons learned, no rejuvenated playoff hopes – at least not for now.