The Blues need Andy McDonald right now. There's no way they can keep this kind of winning up. 1-0 after dominating the WHOLE FREAKING GAME is crazy. They had at least 15 shots before the Oilers got their first. That sort of thing just doesn't happen. And it also shouldn't be that the Blues can have that many shots 10 minutes into the first period without a goal to show for it. If McDonald can't come back soon, the Blues are going to need to find a goal scorer.
Jaroslav Halak could have let in an easy one. He saw no action for 10 minutes. Then he saw very minimal action the rest of the game. The action he did see, actually, was pretty terrific, and he stoned every one of them....again. He's a man possessed right now. If it weren't for him the Blues could have lost that game last night. He played great, as did his competitor. Khabibulin turned back the clock a few years last night. He was (almost) perfect, but as good as Khabibulin played last night, the Blues made him look a lot better than he was. They just about wore out the crest on his sweater. And it seems like it's the same repeat offenders as always.
Guys like Berglund and Stewart are going to have to do better. Berglund had 4 shots, 2 of which should have been buried. Stewart had 2 shots but I can't remember a single one of them. These are the guys who the Blues should be leaning on to get some big goals. When Erik Johnson was traded away to the Avs for Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk it looked to be a very lopsided trade...and that was before anyone thought anything about Shatty! Shattenkirk was a legitimate contender for the Calder last year and he was considered an add-on in the "Johnson/Stewart" trade. It hasn't looked that way this year though. Shattenkirk is the second best defenseman on the Blues this year behind Pietrangelo (freaking stud!). Stewart is probably the 9th best forward on the team right now. He doesn't belong on the top line and probably not the second either. And he's not the only one.
Berglund has been a career underachiever. He's in the right spots to make big plays but often comes up empty....way too often. There's no doubting the guy's skill. He has all the tools and he showed them over the summer when he played for Sweden in the World Hockey Championships. Many thought he'd have a great season after such a strong showing in that tournament. Nope...not even close. He has, by my estimation, the most garbage goals on the team (empty netters, also mentioned, piling on). He doesn't score in the big moments. He's better than he has played with the Blues. Might it be time for a change?
It might be as easy as putting Berglund down on the third line, or even fourth, for a little while. As pissed as he gets at himself it might crush him or it might find something within him that puts him in the right direction. Stewart is hard working guy when he plays with Backes but he's not doing enough. What do you do with him?
Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen will be huge additions to the lineup and dressing room when they come back. The guys will definitely love the boost they get when 10 and 20 return. Team speed will increase. Depth grows even more. Goals should be more available. If they're not, however, could the Blues go after an easy soon-to-be free agent? Tuomo Ruutu, Ryan Smth, Teemu Selanne, and Saku Koivu are in walk years. Wouldn't they love to play for a team as good as the Blues primed to make a big run in the playoffs? Hitch and Army are going to have to make something happen and fast. Halak and Elliott aren't exactly wearing out their pads but the cost of books on tape the listen to during the games have to be getting expensive!