Blues Hold Players Only Meeting
If there’s one real complaint I have with the Blues this season it’s their inability to move forward after a loss. This was especially evident after the Blues fell to Dallas last Sunday which ended their five game winning streak.
Instead of making the necessary adjustments and moving forward, the team led by the head coach, focused too much on what went wrong as opposed to looking at the big picture. The much bigger picture was the team had just put together some wins to put themselves right back in the thick of the Western Conference race. I said earlier in the week that you would have thought the team had lost five in a row the day after the Dallas game.
It’s one thing to learn how to win, but how you deal with losing can sometimes be just as important.
The NHL season is long and during the course of the year every possible scenario is going to happen. Losing is part of the process and how you handle yourself following a loss can say a lot about a hockey team. The players inside the dressing room knew they didn’t play well but for some odd reason the loss carried over to the next couple of days. There was really no excuse for this to happen.
The worst case scenario is for the negative focus to snowball into a losing streak which is where the Blues find themselves today after falling the New York Rangers 2-1.
Too much negativity was an issue for this club the last few years and was supposed to change moving into this season.
Following the game the players held a players only meeting to try and get things in order in which they focused on supporting each other and not allowing each loss to carry over. It’s one thing to hate to lose and to be pissed following a loss, but the players reminded each other that they have to move forward and find a way to stay up. This is not the time to push each other down. If you’re looking for a meeting where individuals were singled out and someone went on some long rant, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
To sum up the message, the team has had a few bad games but you have to find a way to put it in the rearview mirror.
It may be too dramatic to say the leadership is being tested but this is the time where guys like Barret Jackman and company need to take charge.
With that being said there’s no way to sugarcoat it, the Maple Leafs and the Rangers were two very winnable opponents and the Blues had no business losing either game.
The game Saturday night lacked the tempo the Blues like to play when they’re successful. A costly offensive zone turnover by Patrik Berglund led to the first Rangers goal. My biggest criticism of Berglund has always been his lack of vision and he had D-man Barret Jackman wide open through a back door seam, but he was unable to make the play.
I thought Berglund skated pretty well in the opening period but saw his game decline rapidly. He was given far too much PP time in a game where he was pretty ineffective.
The Blues power play let the team down in a big way. They snapped the puck around pretty good on a second period PP that saw Rangers goaltender Martin Biron make the save of the night on David Backes. Overall they had no answer for the Rangers pressure when on the PP.
How do you explain a too many men on the ice penalty when you’re on the PP?
St. Louis was unable to capitalize on a 4:00 double minor high sticking penalty to the Rangers Sean Avery as they could only generate one shot during the entire PP.
Brad Boyes had one of his better games in some time but for some reason saw almost know PP time during the 4:00 PP.
Boyes puck pursuit was responsible for the Blues getting on the board with Brad Winchester’s tip-in for his seventh of the year.
Overall I think the Blues had the right intention with their play but their execution was sub-par to say the least
If I were the agents for Vladimir Sobotka or matt D’Agostini, now would be a good time to kick start some talks on a contract extension.
Is it just me or does it seem like D’Agostini gets a breakaway nearly every game? If he could bury a few more he would certainly help himself out when it comes to the negotiating table.
I like it when the Rangers come to town. They bring a good collection of people to St. Louis led by broadcasters Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti who are both first class people. I had a good conversation with Rangers Execs Glen Sather and Jim Schoenfeld prior to the game as well.
Kenny Albert is also a fine fella who I got to know several years ago. He will call next week’s NFC playoff game in Atlanta for Fox.
Word is Blues Exec Mike McCarthy and Rangers legend John Davidson had dinner with the New York contingency prior to the game.
More to come,
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