More proof that the REAL problem was the players....the Blues lose another game in classic fashion. They lead for most of the way, but inevitably give up the game-tying goal and eventually lose the game. If the Blues thought they could beat San Jose in their own building, with a single goal, they had to be crazy. This was not going to be a 1-0 game, and the Blues sat back and let the Sharks take the game away from them.
For the first two periods, the Blues were playing strong hockey, forechecking like crazy and forcing some big turnovers. But they couldn't turn them into goals, as the way it's been all season. But the Blues showed life, after all, they were playing on the road. But even that strength is beginning to wear off. The Blues play well enough to win, but see the other team play a solid final five minutes of hockey and take the game. The Blues need to focus on putting a game away before it ever gets to the last five minutes. A second goal at any point in the game would have done wonders for the Blues against San Jose. Being up 2-0 on oone of the top teams in the league would have been so uplifting and energizing that it should have carried the Blues to a win. But that second goal never came, instead a back-breaking game-tying goal came, and then a nail in the coffin from Dany Heatley in overtime, and a very frustrated Chris Mason stormed off the ice after yet another late Blues collapse.
But with that said, it's clear that the Blues play much better on the road than at home, and their home record is the biggest thing that needs work. If the Blues were at least half as decent on home ice as they are on the road, the Blues would be a serious playoff contender right now, instead of trying to find themselves and save the season before it's completely lost.
So here's my suggestion: The Blues need to stay in a downtown hotel every night before a home game, getting the feel as if it were another game on the road. If you get them away from the distractions, then maybe they will start playing better. It's not a terrible idea and it's not like you'd be pulling the players away from their families. It's just something that needs to be done.
I'm still unsure of my thoughts on new head coach Davis Payne. On one side, I like that he's familiar with a lot of the guys who came up through Peoria with Payne as their coach, and I like his idea of loosening the players up a bit, after it was said Andy Murray may have over-coached them. The biggest thing now is to let the players go out there and play. I really like how Payne's first move was to put the kid line of Perron, Oshie, and Berglund back together. They played well in San Jose.
And in conclusion, it cannot go unnoticed, but I think the heart and soul of the Blues right now has to be Alex Steen. He is clearly the best player on the ice and the hardest worker. If all the Blues players played with the kind of heart, and tenacity that Steen's plays with every night, then the Blues would be a much better team. But unfortunately I question where some of the player's minds are at sometimes.