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This one hurt. This one hurt a lot more than the Colorado loss. Why? Because they were in a commanding position with just under 22 minutes left to play and they blew it. A complete meltdown by the Blues led to 5 unanswered goals by the Oilers to win the game. 5 goals – it was like a nightmare. The Blues played well in the first period – not so well in the second but good enough to be 3-0 up with less than a minute left in the period. Sheldon Souray had been kicked out of the game and the Blues had even managed to score a powerplay goal. Fans can certainly be forgiven at that point to think that maybe, just maybe, the team had turned it around. Unfortunately, they hadn’t. The Oilers got on the board with just over 10 seconds of the period left to play. At the time, it seemed just a minor annoyance – no shutout for Conklin. Oh, how wrong we were.
The Blues total inability to close out a game came back to haunt them as they seemed to forget how to defend and how to clear their own zone. After the Oilers pulled it back to 3-2, Andy Murray called a timeout. He called on the team to focus, stay calm and play with composure – something that patently didn’t happen. The Oilers came at the Blues in waves – and the Blues simply seemed to roll over and die. They were walked over and skated around. The Oilers won 5-3 and the Blues were booed off the ice by the crowd at Scottrade.
I think everyone realises that this cannot continue. Something has to be done and done quickly to stem this before the whole mess blows up in their faces. People will not pay to watch this happen again and again. In those days when we didn’t have a good team, you could at least rely on them working their butts off until the final buzzer. They tried hard and they worked hard – they had pride and passion. Does this current team have that? I think they do. I think losing like this does hurt and embarrass them. But when you get into a certain mindframe, when you start to get nervous about giving up a goal or a lead, that’s when mistakes happen.
Maybe one of the veterans should call a team meeting – JUST the team. No coaches. Let the guys have their say to one another – clear the air, get it sorted. Then come out ready to skate all over Calgary on Tuesday night. I’m hoping this is what happens because in this situation there are normally two options: trade or fire. If you look at the trade option then who is out there? Who will help this team? And what would we have to give up to get him? If you look at the firing scenario then the same applies. Who is out there who can help this team? How long do the Blues wait? I guess we’ll find out in due course.
Anyway, here are your game reports if you can bear to read them:
- The Blues Official Site has game recap, highlights and interviews.
- St Louis Game Time Game Day thread – it’s not pretty but neither was the game.
- St Louis Game Time – Blues blow 3-0 lead – reaction, comments and inquest.
- Dan O’Neill of the Post Dispatch points out that the Blues continue to mess the bed at home whilst Barrat Jackman and David Backes call it “embarrassing”.
It’s Brett Hull night at the Scottrade on Tuesday when the Blues host the Calgary Flames. Mike Kitchen was the last Blues coach fired after a Brett Hull night disaster – at the hands of the Red Wings that time. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.