The Blues suffered an embarrassing 8-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday and the team had some rather interesting quotes following the game. Kevin Shattenkirk said the team is dazed and hasn’t had a run of play like this in the past five or six years. He said it’s not fun and very frustrating. While an article could have been written about Shattenkirk’s comments alone, Paul Stastny’s were even more interesting and thought-provoking.
Stastny’s comments, via STLToday:
“Maybe we’re a fragile team. They score that first goal, there’s some tough bounces, we’ve got to find a way to respond. It’s kind of scary what we’re doing to each other. We’re trying to change when we’re out for too long, the defensemen are stuck by themselves, we take our goalie out to change momentum, right away there’s a 2 on 1.
What we’re doing five-on-five is a scary thing. We’re not playing as team. … We’ve got to find a way to stop the bleeding, especially in a building like this. Some weren’t bad plays, just unfortunate bounces. We’re not playing for each other, not playing as a collective group and it’s showing.”
Stastny’s comments are beyond troubling, but that’s because they’re accurate. The scariest part is that the Blues are doing a lot of the fundamentals incorrectly which Stastny alludes to in his statements. They’re changing at the wrong time. They’re playing as individuals as opposed to as a team. He’s right, some of the team’s woes can be blamed on bad luck, but the overall issues seem to indicate big issues regarding coaching, strategy and the chemistry of the roster.
The Blues certainly look like a fragile team. Few players are driving to the net. Few players are trying to screen the opposing goalie, let alone throwing their weight around. Some of those problems can be addressed, but some of the others – such as the fact the Blues look small and intimidated – might be impossible to fix barring some significant changes to the roster.