For the first six weeks of this season the Blues had relatively few injuries but were still only treading water, playing. 500 hockey.
Over the past two weeks, the injuries are piling up faster than you can say “last-place Blues,” and the team appears in danger of going under.
Saturday’s no-show in Arizona, a 6-1 defeat to a middling Coyotes team, cheap nhl jerseys china
put the Blues at 9-13-3, the second time this season they have been four games under .500.
One must go back a decade, to the 2008-09 season, for the last time the Blues were under .500 this far along in a season. It’s also the last time they were four (or more) games under .500 at any point in a season.
That Andy Murray-coached club had a losing record for most of a four-month period from the first week of November until the last week of February. They were a season-worst seven games below .500 at 16-23-1 on Jan. 13, 2009.
Despite that subpar first half of the season, the 2008-09 Blues made the playoffs by going 25-8-9 over the final 42 games.
As for the current Blues, they are nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and have between one and four games in hand with every team in the conference.
“Especially before Christmas we need a long streak to get us back into it, and start chipping away at the standings and climbing back in there,” Brayden Schenn said before the team’s just-completed three-game road trip.
The Blues won only one of three games on the trip and have shown no signs whatsoever of being capable of putting together any kind of winning streak. The recent rash of injuries makes that task all the more difficult.
It started with Pat Maroon and Alexander Steen going down with injuries in a loss Nov. 14 to Chicago. Maroon missed only four games. Steen missed the next six.
Then Jaden Schwartz and Carl Gunnarsson went down the next game, Nov. 16 at Vegas.
The Blues were 7-7-3 after the Vegas game. They are 2-6 since.
On Friday in Colorado, Alex Pietrangelo and Steen left the game with injuries. Saturday in Arizona, Robby Fabbri went down.
Schwartz (hand), who can be a catalyst for the offense, and the steady Gunnarsson (upper body) remain sidelined, and a return does appear imminent for either player.
In just his second game back after an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion, or concussion-related, Steen absorbed a blow to the head from Colorado’s Erik Johnson — a blow that led to a game misconduct for Johnson. If it’s another concussion for Steen, who knows how long he could be sidelined.