Better Effort – Still No Results
16 seconds. The Blues let down for 16 seconds Saturday night and paid for it with another loss at home. Chalk this one up as another disappointment in this young season. The Blues are off until a home matchup against Phoenix in what could be a pivotal point in the season for the Note.
Three games into their six game homestand, the Blues find themselves 1-2. A win Thursday would level the record on this stretch of home games and take some pressure off the team and coaching staff. Another loss could be the nudge that could set the “wheels of change” in motion and signal Andy Murray’s exit.
Looking back to game on Saturday, the Blues turned in a rather solid effort, one well deserving of a victory. The best team in the West came into the Scottrade Center and were thoroughly outplayed. The shot totals were 39-16 in the Blues’ favor. This included an 11-2 margin in the third period. While the Sharks got an outstanding performance from Evgeni Nabokov, the Blues controlled the game, the tempo, and clearly were the better team Saturday night. However, 16 little seconds and a couple of errors/unmarked skaters led the Blues to their 3-1 loss.
A great effort but still nothing to show for it. We have seen this result far, far too many times. The Blues generate 30+ shots but found little offensive success for it. Meanwhile, they give up goals on costly mistakes and before you know it, the Blues lose another game they could have won.
6-8-4 for 16 points this season. That’s 16 points through 18 games. The Blues slump to 13th in the West, six points out of a playoff spot.
The Blues are enjoying a few days off prior to Thursday’s game, and need to come back rested and ready to go. Time for a win. Time for two points. Time for some of these shots to turn into goals and some of these power-plays to convert. The power-play has been a disaster of late, converting just 13.9% of the time which ranks an ugly 26th in the NHL. This area must improve. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, it must improve or people will lose their jobs.
Coming into this season, I, and I am guessing many, many others did not see this scenario panning out with Andy Murray on the brink of losing his job just 18 games into the season.
Were fans’ expectations too high entering the 2009-10 season? Yes. This team is still a ways away from being a legit Cup contender (contrary to what the Blues’ marketing plan told you). Are the Blues capable of playing much better hockey? Definitely yes. Should they be winning some games, and be in the hunt for a playoff spot? Hell yes.
If the team plays as they did Saturday, they will win games. That was the exact effort and perfomance needed to string together a winning streak. Eventually, something is going to bounce in when the Blues are in a tight contenst … right?