Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stars Have Chance to Keep Blues in Dark

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stars Have Chance to Keep Blues in Dark

Article excerpt

On the up side, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was not sighted at the Blues' practice Friday at the Brentwood Ice Rink.

On the down side, answers were as scarce as victories for the slump that is obliterating the team's best start ever.

The Blues opened the National Hockey League season with five victories, two losses and a tie, and then tacked on a 6-0-1 streak. What followed is a 1-6-3 plunge to third place in the Central Division.

How can the Blues get themselves right-side up again?

"Win," said winger Brendan Shanahan.

Sage advice. The follow-through has left something to be desired.

In the latest cave-in, the Blues blew a two-goal lead and the game, 5-4, in the third period Thursday night at The Arena against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"This is as devastating a way to lose a game as you can have," coach Bob Berry said Friday. "No question, it hurts. And I thought about it a lot overnight. But it's rock bottom. You have to go from there."

It was the third time in the slump that the Blues wasted a third-period lead at home against a top team. In fadeaways against Calgary and Detroit, the Blues at least salvaged ties.

On Sunday, the Blues lost to previously harmless Winnipeg after being tied after two periods.

The Blues (12-8-5) have 29 points, 13 behind Toronto in the Central Division. They sit a point behind the Dallas Stars, who must be twinkling at the chance to play at The Arena tonight.

"We're down right now," center Craig Janney said. "Maybe it'll end Saturday night. Thank God there's another game. There's always another game in this business."

The Blues have two excellent excuses for this scuba dive.

Injuries and illnesses wiped out three to four key players at a time. All but defenseman Phil Housley have returned.

"As the saying goes, the games will continue," winger Basil McRae said. "The points are there to be gotten. We can't just concede them.

"The injuries give guys a chance to step up and show what they can do. …

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