St. Louis Blues Look Sloppy in Second Straight Game: Fan Reaction

The St. Louis Blues were just plain awful in their second straight game, and that's putting it lightly. After giving up three goals to the Chicago Blackhawks March 29 and settling for a 4-3 shootout loss, the Blues should have gotten better hosting the worst team in the NHL.

Instead, the Columbus Blue Jackets pasted the NHL's best team 5-2 March 31. The magic of the Blues' season appears to be waning and it's the worst possible time. St. Louis needs to be peaking heading into the playoffs, not limping.

The only reason St. Louis clinched the Central Division crown on the same night as the Columbus game was because the Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators. St. Louis will now finish with no worse than the second seed in the Western Conference.

That is little comfort to a team that was rolling but now has to figure out how to win after two inexplicable losses. One shot ricocheted off a post and slid across the mouth of the goal but didn't go in. Had the puck gone in, the score would have been 3-2 in favor of Columbus. Another goal was scored later in the period that would have tied it after two stanzas.

It just wasn't the Blues' night. The fourth goal for Columbus midway through the third was during a 5-on-3 chance. The Blues simply didn't play well in a game that should have been an easy victory.

Against Chicago, the Blues gave up the puck at center ice and two skaters raced toward the goal for a two versus Jaroslav Halak that ended with a goal.

Against Columbus, the mistakes were more of the same. St. Louis was whistled for eight penalties including a 10 minute misconduct that cost them the game. The Blues had 41 penalty minutes to just 23 for Columbus. The Blue Jackets netted two power play goals and one in the final minute and a half when backup Brian Elliott was pulled in favor of a sixth skater.

The second goal for Columbus was most disheartening. Instead of passing the puck to either side on the offensive third, the Blues gave it away and R.J. Umberger scored with nothing but Halak ahead of him. Those two little mistakes can be deadly in the playoffs. The fact that St. Louis had similar plays two games in a row should be a major concern to head coach Ken Hitchcock.

I hope this isn't a sign that the other shoe isn't dropping. Hopefully the moment that Blues' fans have been dreading this season doesn't come to pass.

William Browning was born in St. Louis and has been a lifelong Blues fan.

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Updated Sunday, Apr 1, 2012