Sunday, March 21, 2010

TUMS sponsors free food night/blown Blues lead.

Another 3rd period lead blown, although this one might have hurt more than the others - the Blues allowed 2 Nashville goals in a matter of minutes at the end of the 3rd period to let a 2-1 lead slip away, and to fall further out of the playoff race. It's disappointing, but expected.

This season isn't last year. Sorry. You can't just "turn it on" and get into the playoffs whenever you feel like it, guys - with this loss your playoff hopes fall to under 3%, which isn't as bad as it could be, because the Flames lost. The Blues still sit in 10th place with their 77 points, four behind Calgary. A win could have put us two behind the Flames and four behind 8th place Detroit. There aren't enough games left in this season to expect the Blues to win enough and the Flames and Red Wings both to lose enough for us to squeak in. Those two teams are older, bigger, and stronger than the Blues are. The Wings have more playoff experience in 3 players than the Blues do in their whole team.

There's drive with the Blues - there are moments of solid hockey, and there have been all season. But, as has been mentioned before, they think that they can coast. You can't. Coasting is what cost them last season in the first round. Coasting's costing them the playoffs in general this season. You have to have a constant pressure if you want to make the playoffs, regardless of the age of your group. Inconsistency is what has kept the Flames out on the doorstep of the top 8 - the reason that they're still in it is because of that experience and pressure to rebound from sloppy play.

If you can't rebound, if you can't press, you can't make the playoffs, plain and simple. As the end of this writing, the Thrashers defeated the Flyers 3-1 to climb back within 1 of the 8th spot in the East. They've rebounded from a 6 game losing streak (and a 9 game from earlier in the season) to remain in the mix. Granted the teams in front of the Thrashers are in a state of implosion (and behind, too - the Rangers aren't doing too well) and this benefits the Thrashers, as does the fact that the East in general is a weaker conference than the West.

That doesn't take the determination out of the play of the Thrashers, and the lackadaisical play of the Blues probably would make them fall out of play on the doorstep of the playoffs in the East, too. I hope this has been a learning experience for the Blues, more so than last season's playoff loss was. It's harder to make the playoffs, and takes more pressure, than it is to move forward. 4 games versus 82. If you don't show up for the first 82, you're not going to see the next one, let alone four.


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