The Blues are in desperation mode as they face the Buffalo Sabres and try to snap a three-game losing streak.
The expectations for the St. Louis Blues weren’t exactly through the roof heading into the 2016-17 season, considering that they lost three major contributors and didn’t really make any major additions. Perhaps the Blues’ three straight wins to begin the season inflated those expectations more than they should have, but regardless, the Blues feel like a colossal disappointment right now, having lost three straight and five of their past seven. It all boiled over on Saturday night, when the Blues boosted their offense a bit with four goals in Columbus, but gave up eight to the Blue Jackets in an all-around embarrassing effort.
While it feels foolish to look at playoff position less than 20 games into the season, it’s worth noting that the Blues are suddenly in fourth place in the Central Division, likely another loss away from falling out of a Wild Card spot. Obviously, there’s plenty of time left to recover, but for a Blues team that’s almost constantly been near the top of the division since Ken Hitchcock took over, that’s pretty unsettling.
The Blues have a great opportunity to get back into the swing of things on Tuesday night, as they’ll return home and host the Buffalo Sabres, who have the third-worst record (5-6-4) through 15 games and have scored the second-fewest goals (29) of any team in the NHL. The Blues haven’t lost to Buffalo since December 27, 2009, so they’ll certainly be looking to extend their eight-game winning streak against the Sabres on Tuesday.
One would think that after getting eight-spotted in Columbus, the Blues might make extensive lineup changes against Buffalo. That might not be the case, though. Let’s see what coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to have in store for Tuesday’s game: