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Blues Starting To Climb Out Of Slump

The St. Louis Blues have been going through a slump as of late, though they are starting to find their way out of the hole. After snapping a five-game losing streak, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It started in February with the Detroit Red Wings, where St. Louis took a bitter 5-3 loss. The pain wasn’t eased as the Blues dropped a game to the Nashville Predators 6-1 and just two nights later again to the Red Wings 5-1. Another high scoring game two nights later saw the Anaheim Ducks take a 6-5 win over the Blues who couldn’t stop the bleeding against the Los Angeles Kings, losing 4-1.

But finally, victory came to St. Louis as the Blues were able to overcome the Red Wings with a 4-3 win, snapping the losing streak, and possibly getting a little redemption for the tough losses earlier in the month.

The biggest concern for St. Louis right now is in net. Jaroslav Halak has been bouncing on and off the injured reserve list for the past few games until finally he seems to have settled on staying hurt and off the ice. This wouldn’t be too big of a concern to a team that had the best goaltending duo in the NHL, however backup Brian Elliot has been showing signs that he isn’t up to his expected performance capabilities. There is some good news in that Jake Allen, up from the Peoria Rivermen has been exceeding his expectations and standing tall in the NHL. As of right now, the goaltending in St. Louis is shaky at best and that is one of the Blues’ strongest assets that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

Another injury hit to blindside St. Louis is Jamie Langenbrunner. He underwent successful surgery, which is good news in the long run. However, it does mean that his season is over and that’s a tough bullet to bite for the Blues. His veteran experience was a key asset on the ice as well as in the locker room. With two Stanley Cup rings, Langenbrunner is no stranger to the scoresheet. This now leaves a hole in St. Louis’ lineup that coach Ken Hitchcock has to quickly fill, keeping in mind that a young team could benefit from some experience as well as some offensive help. That’s a tall order, but if anyone can do it, it’s Hitchcock.

Blues Starting To Climb Out Of Slump
CALGARY, CANADA – FEBRUARY 15: Alexander Steen #20 of the St. Louis Blues shoots the puck past Joey MacDonald #35 of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 15, 2013 in Calgary, Canada. St. Louis won 5-2.
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

There is a positive point for St. Louis, out on the points. Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk have been stepping up their game and it’s being noticed. There has even been some talk that included their names and “Norris Trophy” in the same sentence. It’s still early in the season, but it’s a short season, and the duo have been playing well enough to deserve the accolades.

The biggest hurtle for St. Louis is trying to solve the injury problem. If the Elliot and Allen can step up and fill the hole that Halak left, the Blues can build a stable platform that will help earn some wins. Langenbrunner being out is tough, but this team has faced gaps before and being young, energetic and hopeful will help get through the lean times.

DaveSchauer

DaveSchauer

David Schauer is an award-winning, professional writer who has been involved in organized hockey for over twenty years. He has been published hundreds of times; about the same number of times he has been checked into the boards.
DaveSchauer

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