These past two seasons for the St. Louis Blues have been dreadful.
Prior to last season, they were one of the most consistent teams in the NHL. They would usually have a great regular season, get into the playoffs and win a round or two before ultimately failing to capture the Stanley Cup.
That came to a halt last season. While the team did not miss the playoffs by much, they still failed to get in due to very inconsistent play and extremely poor goaltending from starter Jake Allen.
It appears that those two things are already plaguing the club to start the season. As of this writing, the Blues are the fourth worst team in the league at 5-5-3 for 13 points.
I know that may not seem bad, but you have to remember that this team used to consistently be one of the best in the entire league. Everything would be clicking, they would win a bunch of hockey games, and come April, they would be considered a Cup contender.
Last season and this season, have been a much different story. As always, it starts with Jake Allen’s poor play between the pipes.
At this point, one has to wonder if Allen is the right man for the starting job in St. Louis. In 11 games, he is currently 4-3-3 with a 3.99 goals against average and a .879 save percentage.
This is starting to become a theme for Allen. While he did finish last season with a 2.75 goals against average and a .906 save percentage, his struggles in the beginning of last season and throughout the middle portion of the year cost the Blues a playoff spot.
If he continues to play this way, the same thing may happen again. The team’s backup, Chad Johnson, is 1-2 with a 2.47 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.
While Johnson is 32-years-old, he has played well enough to start the year to warrant more playing time. Hopefully, head coach Mike Yeo realizes this and gives Johnson more games.
Defensively, the team has not played well enough in front of their netminders. They are currently 19th in the league in goals allowed as they have given up 48 goals in 13 games, which means they are allowing about 3.5 goals per game.
This is not good enough. With Allen struggling and an aging back-up, this team needs to start playing much better defensively or they will find themselves in the same position they were last season: not in the playoffs.
Offensively, this team needs more participants. Yes, guys like Ryan O’Reilly (19 points), Vladimir Tarasenko (13 points), and David Perron (11 points) are contributing, but even with them putting up points, this club is still 16th in the league in goals scored.
This team needs to put the puck in the net as much as they possibly can because of how awful Allen has been playing. You know that Yeo is going to continue to give him starts so if he does that, this team needs to score a heckuva lot more goals than they are scoring now.
If things continue this way for the Blues, it may be time for them to fire Yeo. The team missed the playoffs last season, is looking like they could end up missing them this season and for a franchise like the Blues, that is unacceptable.
Might the team try and bring back future Hall of Fame and the recently fired Joel Quenneville to take over the reigns behind the bench? At this point, it might be time for a drastic change and a new head coach might end up being just what the doctor ordered for this hockey club.
Time will tell if the Blues can get out of this funk. If they can’t heads need to roll.
*Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch