Blues Facing Team Adversity as Playoffs Near

The St. Louis Blues are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games and 1-2-2 in their last five games. Adversity has officially hit the team with only 19 games remaining on the schedule, and as the race for the playoffs continues to build.

TeamGames PlayedGames RemainingWinsLossesOTLPointsPoint Pace
Point Pace Projection as of March 25, 2022, for Central Division

The team has a proven track record that they can play against the heavyweights and powerhouse franchises of the NHL. This season, the Blues have a 26.4% conversion rate on the power play good enough for third in the NHL, along with an 82.9% penalty kill rate that is good for seventh. However, in March, those rates have dropped to 23.3% and 73.5%, respectively.

Blues Lacking Work Ethic

This month has not been kind to the Blues. With a 3-5-3 record, the team has earned nine points, good enough for 27th place in the NHL and tied with the Seattle Kraken. To make matters worse, they have averaged 3.27 goals per game, ranked 14th in the league, and allowed 3.45 goals against per game, ranked 22nd. The club has been average at best on the ice and often seemed stuck on cruise control.

After the clubs’ loss to the Flyers on Thursday, Blues defenseman Justin Faulk said, “I think we just didn’t play our game at all. The work ethic wasn’t there, the compete level and intensity wasn’t there from a lot of guys, [and] I’m very much in that group. Didn’t have a good game by any means. But that’s just not acceptable.”

Justin Faulk St. Louis Blues
Justin Faulk, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As the game against Philadelphia, a team that has lost 13 straight on the road, was coming to a close, Blues head coach Craig Berube decided to take action and benched forward Jordan Kyrou in the third period. After failing to record a single shot on goal and trouble in his own zone, the 23-year-old breakout star did not see another shift in the final 14:27 of the game. While he leads the teams with 22 goals and 61 points in 59 games, he has only recorded one goal in March and has not scored eight consecutive games.

Playing Down to Bottom-10 Teams

The 5-2 loss to the Flyers marked the sixth time this season that the Blues have lost in regulation to a team ranked in the bottom-10 of the NHL. During these games, they have looked dismissive, passive, and at times not present, assuming that their talent alone would be enough to win the game. This trend in performance has been enough to catch the eye of many fans and was even asked to be looked at a little closer. 

In their 4-1 loss against the Ottawa Senators on March 8, Faulk also stated:

“It’s not always pretty, right? Sometimes you get in these funks where you just need to kind of put your nose to the grindstone and just work. I think there’s no lack of talent, that’s for sure, in that room in making plays and executing as a group, but you kind of get into these funks once in a while and we’ve got to be able to see it through on the other side of that.”

The team will need all of the help that they can get to correct this growing trend. With the addition of defenseman Nick Leddy at the trade deadline, perhaps someone with an outsider’s perspective and a new voice in the locker room can help provide a breath of fresh air. While the captains of the team will ultimately be tasked to lead their team out of the funk, it is the responsibility of each and every man on the roster to help out his teammate and support one another.

Blues Goaltending Controversy Continues

The numbers do not lie and the goaltenders have begun to separate themselves from one another with the Blues’ $6 million man falling one behind. While nothing emerged from the rumor at the trade deadline, it has been reported Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff indicated that the Blues were a team entering into the goaltending market as potential sellers and entertaining trade offers for their Stanley Cup-winning netminder. Seravalli noted: “Yes, sources say Blues GM Doug Armstrong contacted teams perceived to be active on the goaltending market and pitched the 2019 Stanley Cup champion as a potential solution to their problems.”

With Husso’s contract set to expire at the end of this season, the Blues’ front office will have their hands full when it comes to the decision of not only Husso but how to handle the potential of a very costly goalie tandem moving forward. The team has a proven track record this season that shows they can be successful and a top team in the NHL.

Related: Oilers Could Pull Off Potentially Massive Trade Deadline Deal with Blues

Adversity has hit the team and will ultimately strengthen or break the clubs’ spirit heading down the stretch. Should the team continue to perform at an average pace, their chances of making the playoffs are alive and well, but they could take on the Colorado Avalanche in the first round if they land in a wild-card spot. The team will need the efforts of every one of their players moving forward and cannot afford to take players that look to coast along into the playoff if they want another crack at a Stanley Cup.

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