The Blues are riding a nice three-game winning streak in which their fourth line and their special teams have played important roles. Following the team’s most recent win against the Nashville Predators, the team praised their special teams and their ability to “outplay” the opposition.
Kyle Brodziak commented after the Nashville win and his outlook on the Blues’ play also sheds some light on what the overall team and coaching mentality is at this stage of the season.
Brodziak’s comments via STLToday:
“We have faith in our group that if we keep things close. By the end of the game, we’re going to wear teams down, and I think you’re seeing it the last couple of games, where I think the later portions of the game we’ve been able to take over a little bit.”
It’s important to avoid reading too far into comments made following a win, but Brodziak’s seem to touch on the mentality and ideology from the dressing room. It’s fairly noteworthy that the belief in the room is that the Blues are going to – or need to – wear teams down. That insinuates playing with a physically-demanding style that also requires a relentless forecheck.
This of course raises the bigger question of whether the coaching strategies the Blues are using (which we can assume match Bordziak’s comments) are a fit with the current roster. It seems like this approach was the same one used last season when the Blues had a couple more physical bodies still on the roster (David Backes, Troy Brouwer). Considering those two players are gone and in their place are some players with very different styles (David Perron for instance), you have to wonder if this style will work over the long haul.
There’s also the concern that the Blues’ approach requires the ability to not only wear the opponent down, but to also grab the lead late in the game. The problem is that the “by the end of the game” approach might be a bit too late when competing against the stronger teams in the NHL.