As if things weren’t bad enough for the St. Louis Blues with an injury to star goaltender Jaroslav Halak, the team’s offense has now failed to show up for their last two games. In losses to the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings, the Blues scored just two goals – one in each game.
With a Saturday meeting with the Anaheim Ducks, a trip to face the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, and another game against the Red Wings on Wednesday, the time for St. Louis’ offense to remember how lethal it can be is now. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has both Blues goals in the past two games, as the team’s forwards continue to be held off the scoresheet. Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko has cooled considerably after a hot start, and now shares the team point lead with Pietrangelo and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
While the Blues were boosted by scoring from their young defensemen last season, they can by no means rely on the pair to carry the load offensively. Halak is back on the ice, and if he continues showing progress could be ready to return as early as Monday. Brian Elliott has struggled in his absence, and his goals against average is light years away from his league-leading mark of 1.56 during the 2011-12 season.
The team recalled goalie Jake Allen from the AHL Peoria Rivermen, but with just two NHL relief appearances in his career he is unlikely to see a start while in St. Louis.
Despite their recent offensive struggles, the Blues still rank fourth in the league in goals per game and have the league’s best power play percentage. If David Backes, T.J. Oshie, David Perron, Alex Steen and Chris Stewart can find the scoring touch they had at the beginning of the season, the Blues should be able to right the ship quickly and continue chasing the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead.