Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fast-Starting Blues Mired in a Late-November Funk

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fast-Starting Blues Mired in a Late-November Funk

Article excerpt

After the fastest start in franchise history, the Blues have been spinning their wheels the last two weeks.

They lost going away in Los Angeles and Vancouver. They blew home-ice leads and settled for ties with Calgary and Detroit. They lost at Washington and had to rally from a 5-3 deficit to tie New Jersey on Friday night at The Arena.

In that span, they played just one truly outstanding game - a 4-1 victory over the Kings at home Nov. 20.

"I don't think there is any reason to panic, that's for sure," center Ron Sutter said. "It's not like we've been playing terribly. We just have to keep things simple, keep working hard, do the little things we were doing before. Certainly there is no reason to be worried or upset."

Coach Bob Berry sees only small problems, the just-misses while attempting to clear the puck from the Blues' zone or getting to the red line so the puck can be dumped and lines changed.

"We're not getting beat by big things," he said. "We're not getting beat by a series of rushes, two-on-ones, three-on-ones. We're getting beat by inches."

The Blues will try to get back on track against the struggling Winnipeg Jets tonight at The Arena. Since starting the season 6-3-1, the Jets have won just two of their last 14 games.

Given the coming schedule, a Blues victory is imperative. Waiting on the horizon is a home-and-home series with Toronto, home games against Central Division rivals Dallas and Chicago . . . and then a tough six-game trip starting in Detroit and ending in Edmonton.

It's time to tighten things up a bit. "We've been making too many mistakes," Blues center Craig Janney said. "It's cost us some wins."

The Blues had several costly mishaps in their 6-6 tie with the Devils on Friday. New Jersey scored five even-strength goals and one short-handed goal; the Blues survived by going four for four on the power play. …

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