Avalanche 4 – Blues 0

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Oh dear. Shutout at home by the opposition’s backup goalie – that’s not good. The Blues home woes continue…but why? Why do they have this inability to play as a team on home ice? That was the main problem in last night’s game – there were a group of individuals on the ice – not a team. Passes went astray or were intercepted; a wealth of shots went high or wide (23 in fact); no traffic in front of goal so shots were easily blocked – what’s the point of having big, power guys like Winchester if they’re not in front of the goalie, screening him and making a nuisance of themselves?

However. There were good points in the game. The Blues spent a lot of time in the opposition zone; the Kariya-Oshie-Backes line works hard and creates chances; the opportunities were there but the Blues simply couldn’t capitalise.

It’s as though the Blues have a mental meltdown when they’re on home ice – they certainly don’t seem to have the “nobody pushes us around in our house” attitude anymore. It’s as though they’ve forgotten what made them successful last season – playing a hard hitting, physical game. They’re constantly trying for that perfect pass, the perfect set up instead of getting traffic in front of net and shooting – and I mean shooting on target instead of sending it high and wide. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple – do the basics right and then, get a few home wins under your belt and the team will start to relax and the confidence will come back.

The Blues next home game is against the Oilers on Friday. Put Cam Janssen back in the lineup and get the team playing physical hockey. Forecheck hard, hit hard – make the Oilers realise that, if they have the puck, we’re coming at them and getting it back. Hard. The Blues need to make teams afraid to come to Scottrade – at the moment, the opposition seems to relish it.

Enough of that. Here are your game reports:

Next up for the Blues is a road game in Detroit against the Red Wings- a chance for the Blues to get things back on track.

Coming soon – a profile on Paul Kariya with a look at the impact he’s had on the Blues.

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