The sense of relief for the St. Louis Blues, when they returned to the win column Thursday, was palpable.
Now, the question is whether the Blues can carry that momentum into Saturday’s road clash with the Dallas Stars.
The Blues snapped a four-game losing skid with a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks to end a disappointing homestand. It was a much-needed result after a 3-2 loss to the cellar-dwelling Arizona Coyotes two nights earlier.
“I think it’s a bit of a wakeup call,” said forward Brandon Saad, who scored twice in the Sharks’ victory. “Sometimes you just look at the result, but I think for us, it’s something we just want to focus on how we can play every night. Regardless of how the result ends, it’s something that we had to be better as a team and it’s something we talked about — getting better every night playing a full 60 minutes, that kind of thing. It definitely felt good getting a win.”
In the victory, leading scorer Jordan Kyrou extended his goal-scoring streak to three games. He is riding a six-game point streak, in which he has collected six goals and two assists.
While the general belief may be the Blues found the emotional investment to rebound from the disappointing loss to Arizona, coach Craig Berube said a different approach was more valuable.
“Businesslike. Practice the next day was businesslike,” Berube said. “I don’t know if I really talk in terms of business to the players like that, but if we can become a businesslike team night in, night out, in practice and all that, that goes a long way. And you know you’re going to be prepared to play the right way if you get that mindset.”
The Stars return home after a humbling 7-2 road loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, which ended a two-game winning burst. It is another setback for a squad that has struggled to put forward a lengthy winning streak.
“We never really got to our game,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “They played well, but the first couple of goals we gave them, turned pucks over, fly-bys. We were never really able to get the momentum back. Shame on us for not playing better.”
Since reaching the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, the Stars have looked out of sync. En route to missing the playoffs last season, they only twice strung together more than two consecutive victories, and have yet to do that this season.
“I think we’ve had enough kumbayas,” said forward Tyler Seguin, referring to his club’s recent team meetings that haven’t led to more consistency. “We’ve got to figure something out. Maybe this is the one you try to stop the page on.”
The loss has the makings of a fire-starter moment, but even in their recent victories, the Stars have not been in top form, and they know it.
“We’re just inconsistent, throughout games, game to game,” Suter said. “If we can figure that out where it’s just simple, basic hockey until you get that confidence and momentum that winning teams have. When you’re winning, everyone’s feeling good, everyone’s chipping in. We haven’t found that yet. Luckily, it’s early, but we’ve got to find it soon.”
–Field Level Media