Monday night at Enterprise Center, the Blues paid tribute to the late horror filmmaker George Romero and his iconic “Night Of The Living Dead” cult movie. The Blues, starring in their own version of a zombie apocalypse, had their own fans fleeing into the streets to get away from the abhorrent scenes on the ice.

The humiliating 5-1 scourging of the lazy home team by the visiting LA Kings was as grotesque as anything we’ve seen on ice, the Detroit octopi included. The Blues extended their losing streak to five games, and in those 300 minutes of horrific hockey the boys have been outscored 31-10.

What in the name of Satan is going on here?

Take your pick:

1. The slothful Blues are playing like a team that wants to get coach Craig Berube sacked and sent away. We’ve seen these conspiracies before. Just ask Alfred “Ken” Hitchcock.

2. Individual, prominent Blues players are competing so poorly they look like dudes who would prefer to compete for another team. Captain Ryan O’Reilly, what’s up? If the Blues continue their bizarre work stoppage, and the situation doesn’t improve, GM Doug Armstrong will eventually make a list of potential trade candidates to be cashed in before they have the chance to leave as free agents.

3. The Blues just aren’t that good … and when high-salaried players who overrate themselves also come to the rink with no heart, then you have the makings of a catastrophe.

The Blues have played eight games, and yeah it’s too soon to be talking about these distasteful and drastic measures. I offer no recommendations. Not yet, anyway. But if we’re being truthful with each other, let’s be honest and say: we’ve been thinking about these unpleasant scenarios … if even just a little. That speaks to just how awful this team has been since Oct. 24.

For now let’s just say we have the potential of brewing situations on several fronts. And we can leave it at that. I’d be surprised if the collapse lasted much longer.

During the five-game downslide the Blues (3-5 overall) have been outscored 16-4 at five-on-five. Take a look at the plus-minus ratings (at even strength) of the most notable Blues. For those who need a reminder or explanation of how the plus-minus thing works …

The plus-minus is a simple calculation: how many goals does a team score, and allow, when the player is on the ice? For example: if the team scores four goals and allows seven with the player on the ice, then he’s a minus 3.

Anyway, in the last five games at even strength:


Brayden Schenn: 1 goal for, 12 against, minus 11
Jordan Kyrou: 2-12, minus 10
Ryan O’Reilly: 1-10, minus 9
Robert Thomas: 2-10, minus 6
Vladimir Tarasenko: 2-8, minus 6
Jake Neighbours: 0-6, minus 6
Pavel Buchnevich: 1-3, minus 2. (Only two games.)


Torey Krug: 2-13, minus 11
Colton Parayko: 0-6, minus 6
Justin Faulk: 4-10, minus 6
Nick Leddy: 2-6, minus 4

The goof-up tendencies of the bumbling Blues was showcased in spectacular fashion in two ways:

The three consecutive backdoor goals scored by the Kings in the second period. Maybe the Blues need to install a “Ring” security monitor on Jordan Binngington’s goal so their defensemen can see an opponent lurking on the doorstep?

Just as comical was the Blues mucking up a three-on-none opportunity. Kyrou had the puck, with O’Reilly and Schenn on the flanks. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had no help. He was at the mercy of the Blues. But the Blues failed to get off a shot. In an inexplicable air-headed moment, Kyrou held onto the puck, wanting to pass, and quick Jonathan poked-checked it out of harm’s way. The Kings scored less than a minute later for a 3-0 lead.

“I don’t even know what to say about it,” Berube said.

The Chief was exasperated. He had his fangs out. He shredded his players with criticism. Their lack of effort. Their lack of hunger. Their wandering, east-west travels instead of taking the straightest routes to the net. On and on. We’ve heard it all before. The turnovers, the stupid passes to the middle, the failure to make connections and finish plays, etc.

Berube saved the most devastating venom for the team’s best players. The guys we’ve already mentioned by name in this column. “Our top guys, they’ve got to dig in,” he said. They’re not digging in enough. They’re too soft, they’re not direct enough. They’re not north enough. They’re not going to the net enough. They’re not checking hard enough.”

Berube put the players through a hardcore-tough practice on Tuesday, trying to work the laziness out of their bones. Armstrong handled post-practice media inquiries to send many messages. He called out the players except for the fourth-line members. He was critical of the team’s compete level. He remains 100% in his support of Berube. And Armstrong said it’s too early to make trades. All of this was interesting; it showed that Army knows what’s being said out there in the public square of social media.

The Blues are in their first crisis mode of the season.

Stand by for the next episode.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated sports-talk show on 590-AM The Fan, KFNS. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app which is available in your preferred app store.

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All stats used here were sourced from NaturalStatTrick and Hockey Reference.