Both Blues and Jets hungry to get back on the right path
The St. Louis Blues might be experiencing their worst stretch thus far this season, though it’s nowhere near what’s going on with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Central Division foes will try to recover Monday night in St. Louis, and both need to get things right in their own zone.
The Blues (11-5-1) have dropped two straight in regulation for the first time this season, but the Jets (8-8-2) are on a 0-4-1 skid. After Saturday’s 7-0 loss in Nashville, Winnipeg has given up 18 goals in the first three of a four-game trip and is tied for 27th in the NHL with 3.22 goals allowed per game.
"I don’t think that you are going to find a guy in here who is happy about the way anything went tonight," captain Andrew Ladd said. "We’ll stick together and find a way to get out of this little funk that we are in, and at the end of it, we will be a better team because of it."
The Jets have given up four power-play goals on nine chances in the last two games, while their own power play is 1 for 22 in seven games this month.
"We’ve got to build some confidence back," coach Paul Maurice told the team’s official website. "Confidence is earned first. … Get some simple parts to our game and we can grab some confidence and build from there."
St. Louis is probably the wrong team to try to start that against. The Blues opened the season series with a 4-2 win at Winnipeg on Oct. 18, giving them eight wins in the last 10 meetings while limiting the Jets to 1.80 goals per game. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and has three goals and an assist in the last three matchups.
Tarasenko also scored twice in Saturday’s 4-2 home loss to Chicago, giving him three goals in two games, but the Blues have lost those contests by a 10-5 total. Even so, coach Ken Hitchcock isn’t entirely down on how his team is playing.
"We were really playing well and we made some critical errors," Hitchcock told the team’s official website. "We didn’t get a clear once, we took a penalty on the backcheck and then we made a couple mistakes on the penalty kill, didn’t get to a loose puck and then we jumped into a pile … (it’s) disappointing.
"If we expect to win, we’re going to have to make big plays at the right time. That’s what that team’s done we played today. They make big plays at the right time. That’s why they win championships. If we want a piece of the pie in this division, in this conference, we’re going to have to have more people make big plays at the right time."
All the scoring against the Blues and Jets has made for some ugly numbers from their goaltenders.
Jake Allen starts his fifth straight for the Blues after allowing six goals on 31 shots in the last two, though he had two shutouts before that. He didn’t face the Jets last month but is 1-1-0 against them with a 1.52 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.
Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec has given up four goals in each of his last three games with a 5.27 GAA and .831 save percentage. He also allowed four against the Blues in the first meeting, though he’s 2-1-0 with a 1.63 GAA and .952 save percentage against them.