The St. Louis Blues are in a serious funk.
They can’t seem to put together a winning streak of any kind, allowing 18 goals over the course of their last three games. The St. Louis Blues need help from someone, anyone, and they need it fast.
The goalie situation in St. Louis is a wild card. After committing to Jake Allen this season, the 26-year-old goalie hasn’t won a game since the Winter Classic, and has given up at least three goals in his last three appearances.
The St. Louis Blues backup, Carter Hutton, hasn’t done much better himself allowing eight goals in the past two games.
The spark St. Louis needs clearly isn’t going to come from the Blues’ net minders, which means someone else on the team needs to step up.
Without many experienced veterans to provide the energy boost, it’s up to the young core to answer the call. Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Robby Fabbri need to be the guys to fire up the locker room.
They might not carry the big voices on the team, but they’re carrying the load on the ice.
While we’ve seen some great individual performances, as a unit, the Blues look flat on the ice and out of sync. Currently, St. Louis sits in fourth place, 15 points back of the first place Minnesota Wild in the central division. With a three-game losing streak hanging over their heads, now is the time to flip the script.
The Blues are about to embark on a tough two-game road trip that starts with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, January 24, followed by a trip to Minnesota to take on the first place Wild on Thursday, January 26.
A couple of statement road victories against tough opponents are what St. Louis needs to get them back in the drivers seat and back in contention this season.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests the Blues might be sellers rather than contenders with the way things are shaking out this season, but there is still plenty of hockey left to play.
“With all due respect to Armstrong, it’s time to realize the Blues resemble Sisyphus now because the puck keeps rolling downhill and into the back of their own net way too often. At this rate, they will be sellers at the March 1 trade deadline,” Ortiz writes.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is a smart man and he realizes where his team sits. Last year, St. Louis was two games away from playing for the Stanley Cup, this year the playoffs don’t even seem like a real possibility.
Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is a prime piece of trade bait for Armstrong. The 27-year-old’s contract is up at the end of the season and the Blues would likely receive a healthy return in a trade.
If he is traded, Shattenkirk would like to go to a title contender, and according to NHL insider Darren Dreger, Detroit could be a potential landing spot.
This season, Shattenkirk has 30 points through 46 games.
Armstrong has a number of issues to address as his team moves through the second half of the season. The goalie issue is the biggest of them all, and if Allen can’t find his confidence between the pipes, Armstrong might need to start exploring other options.
With that being said, the defense needs to step up and flat out play better, regardless of Shattenkirk’s future with the team.
An important two games await and they could determine the direction the Blues choose to go through the end of this season.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]