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Blues Bits October 31: St. Louis Blues versus Los Angeles Kings
November 3, 2022
Final Score: Los Angeles Kings 5, St. Louis Blues 1.
Trick or Treat? The Blues seemed primed to give the red-hot L.A. Kings a trick in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. With thoughts of the possible 5-game losing streak giving trick-or-treaters the scare of the season. With Pavel Buchnevich was back for the boys in blue, the crowd began its electric hum, the puck hit the ice. Halloween hockey.
Meh. The Blues looked strong to open the period, but quickly traded their momentum for slouching on the blue line. Like a wet towel on a clothesline, the Blues hung goaltender Jordan Binnington out to dry. The Kings scored in the closing minutes of the period, after yet another defensive miscue from the second line. The positives were microscopic in comparison to the miscues, and the Blues quickly stomped out any optimism that had filled the empty space in the stands. 1-0, Ghouls.
Sigh. The St. Louis Blues suck. The defense left Binnington open, and he wasn’t able to stop 4 of the chances the defense gave the Kings. After head coach, Craig Berube, pulled Binnington, the Blues scored to give a small burst of energy back to the bench. Despite strong play from a very active fourth line, big names like Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou and most notably, Ryan O’Reily looked awful. There was little skating and tough play in the corners. Very few players got physically active on the boards and defensemen seemed to think their jobs were done after intermission. 5-1, Kings.
Boring. The Kings seemed out of energy, but the Blues didn’t come out of the locker room with any more vigor than they had shown in the second period. Some bright spots included Thomas Greiss, who looked strong in net. The Blues didn’t convert on power play opportunities, and lacked any toughness when entering the zone. The Blues handed out the rest of their halloween candy in the form of late chances for the Kings, and headed into the locker room to a smattering of boos. 5-1, bad guys.
We are not good at hockey.
The defense was lacking tonight. I’m sad, the fanbase is sad, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The Blues aren’t playing to their potential, and the forward depth isn’t what we need. Everyone needs to step up if we want to get out of this slump, and we need to get out of it fast.
Pieces to the puzzle.
Vladimir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reily and Torey Krug need to go. I love Vlady, I really love ROR, but it’s time. The Blues need strong defensive pieces, and now. Jacob Chychrun? I don’t know what the solution is, but the forwards who aren’t doing much on the offensive and defensive end have no place in St. Louis.
The Blues managed to win the cup in 2019 after being in a similar situation. I understand that this isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds, but the Blues can still win. It all comes down to desire and skill. Will the Blues have enough of either? It remains to be seen.
Blues Bits 3 Stars of the Game:
First Star: My Bowl of Halloween Candy – More appealing to the senses than Blues hockey.
Second Star: Thomas Greiss – 11 Saves, 1.000 SV%
Third Star: Alexei Toropchenko – 1G