NHL

Blues coach, captain unleash

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The St. Louis Blues opened some eyes last season when they surprised teams like Chicago and Detroit to win the Central Division. They weren’t going to sneak up on anyone entering this season, though, as expectations were high for the Blues in this shortened season.

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That hasn’t been the case yet, however, with St. Louis stumbling out of the gates. Those stumbles hit a new low Monday when the club lost 4-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, capping an 0-3-1 homestand.

Things looked ominous prior to Monday’s game when Jaroslav Halak, who was set to start after returning from a groin injury, reaggravated that injury.

“This is the homestand from hell,” head coach Ken Hitchcock said, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We lost our goalie, we didn’t play as well and now we’ve got to take this onto the road and we’ve got to be much more accountable to each other.”

That, combined with the poor play, has frustration mounting in the St. Louis locker room. While some of the struggles, like the Halak injury, can be blamed on some bad luck, at least one member of the Blues is calling on his teammates to get it together.

St. Louis captain David Backes called out his teammates following Monday’s loss.

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“It’s complacency, it’s a little bit of selfishness,” Backes said, according to the paper. “It’s individual guys thinking they’re better than the team or what they do on the stat sheet is more important than what we do in the win column. I don’t think it’s an overnight thing. You look back to the string of games we had.

“In Columbus, where we come out light and get away with it, and all of a sudden we think that level is acceptable. Then we do it in Dallas, and we get away with it, and we think that’s acceptable. Then you play teams where you’re not able to do that and before you know it, you’re playing at a level where you’re getting trounced at home.”

Tagged: Blues

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