Home sweet home for the Blues....or anything like it. The Blues-Sabres game tonight went like a classic home game for the Blues. They battle for about two periods, take a lead and tease the hometown fans....then completely fall apart by game's end. While I don't live in St. Louis anymore and don't go to every game as I used to in the past, I feel sorry for the Blues fans, because the team puts them through quite an emotional roller coaster every night.
Case in point: The Blues scored the first goal and got the crowd going. They gave up the tying goal right after. Then, the Blues gave up a pathetic second goal, turning the puck over at their own blue line on a breakout, and then leaving a wide open Mike Grier in front of the net. Sorry Conks, you had no help on that one. Suddenly, 2-1 Sabres, the Blues fans are a bit down.
But the Blues are not done yet. They tie the game at 2 and then take the lead on Alex Steen's second goal of the night. Blues fans are having a ball, they're thinking maybe this won't be like another home collapse. Going into the locker room, Blues led 3-2 and feeling good. But the third period is what does them in at home so many times.
Sabres come out and tie the game at 3, then take the lead on a beautiful tip-on off a point shot by Tim Connolly. So fans once again got down but they weren't out just yet.
Leave it up to the Blues to tease fans some more, nearly tying the score up at 4 before completely having the roof cave in on a shorthanded goal by Connolly. That was the nail in the coffin and an exclamation point to another home Blues collapse. As a result, the time runs out to yet another home crowd booing the Blues off the ice.
Now if anyone reads this, you may wonder why I am ripping on the Blues. But I assure you, you will not find a bigger Blues fan in the world, but it's the bigger Blues fans that may feel more let down by the Blues with these constant pathetic performances. This column is out of sheer frustration and disgust, in genuine hope that the Blues somehow turn their season around.
The biggest problem I saw from the Blues was that they played like a group of individuals out there. They relied on goals scored one-on-one against the goaltender, hoping they can beat him on the initial shot.
But what the Sabres did was play as a team. They generated goals by pretty passing, working the puck around, and making the goaltender move side to side and not stay in one position. The Sabres scored in a variety of different ways. They scored on shots from the point, tip-ins, putbacks off loose rebounds.
But the Blues seem too set on scoring one way only. They need to go outside the scripted gameplan and do as the Sabres did. Change it up. Keep the other team guessing what you're going to do next. The Blues are too predictable.
Until the Blues learn to go outside the box and play as a team, visiting teams will come into the Scottrade Center fully confident that they will win. Teams come to St. Louis knowing they can take advantage of the lowly Blues, who play terribly at home. Until the Blues can put together three solid periods of hockey at home, instead of two, their home record will keep getting worse and Blues fans will continue going home in frustration and disgust.