Blues limp home in hopes of snapping losing streak against Red Wings
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues’ downward spiral continued at Minnesota on Tuesday night.
The Blues dropped their seventh straight in an 8-3 drubbing against the Wild. A team that had a firm grasp on a playoff spot a couple weeks ago is now on the outside looking in for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Even a roster shakeup didn’t change the team’s fortune as the Blues played for the first time without center Paul Stastny, who was traded to Winnipeg on Monday.
The losing streak is the worst for the team since a 0-5-2 run from Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 7, 2010.
“It’s embarrassing,” forward Vladimir Tarasenko told NHL.com after the game.
The one highlight was Tarasenko’s 25th goal of the season, which broke a team scoreless streak of 150:23.
The Blues will look to turn things around when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at Scottrade Center.
“This is our group,” Blues coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com after Tuesday’s morning skate. “I think that there’s a lot of people around the league, whether it’s in the game, out of the game, I think that a lot of people are sort of ready to determine how our story ends here, but the beauty of the game is we’re the ones that get to decide that. We’ve got obviously a big stretch coming up here and every game is going to be a challenge, but we still believe we’ve got the group to do it.”
Forward Alexander Steen said the time for talk is over.
“We’re in a good division,” Steen said last week. “We’re going to play some good teams, but I think we need to find that swagger, that confidence in us again and get back to our game.”
St. Louis won at Detroit 6-1 on Dec. 9 and has a seven-game points streak (3-0-4) against the Red Wings.
The Blues will face a rested Red Wings squad that hasn’t played since beating the New York Rangers 3-2 on Sunday. Detroit comes in on a two-game winning streak.
It will be the first game for the Red Wings since the club sent forward Tomas Tatar to Vegas for three draft picks.
“Luckily, we’ve been in a good situation where we’ve mostly gotten pieces (at the trade deadline),” alternate captain Niklas Kronwall told NHL.com. “Very few times have we had to say goodbye to people. Tats and Petr (Mrazek) two weeks ago, those are guys that have been here for a long time. Of course, you’re going miss them. Definitely going to miss Tats’ laughter and just the way he is, a guy that everyone enjoyed being around.”
Forward Tyler Bertuzzi figures to get a spike in playing time with the trade.
“Obviously, a loss as a player,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told NHL.com. “But I’ve said this lots, we’re going to have 20 guys good enough to win (Wednesday in St. Louis), and that’s going to be our focus.”