ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Saturday’s three-goal loss at home to the worst team in the NHL is a pretty clear low point for the St. Louis Blues this season. At 2-3-1 in it’s last six, general manager Doug Armstrong says there’s only so much head coach Mike Yeo can do, and is putting the team’s recent struggles on his skaters.
“It has to come from the players in the locker room there’s really nothing Mike can do,” Armstrong says. “He can put the lineup out there, he can prepare that but the prep the execution and the desire has to come from what’s in, (Saturday) night that wasn’t there.”
Armstrong joined KMOX’s Mike Kelly on Sport On A Sunday this weekend:
He gave a brutally-honest description of what might be the reason for his team’s recent struggles.
“We don’t handle success well, that’s been a staple of our group for a number of years, is being able to stay even-keeled,” Armstrong says. “But for whatever reason this group can’t handle accolades well, or can handle success well and we pay for.”
St. Louis is still the seventh-best team in the NHL and third in the Central Division, four and three points behind the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators, respectively. But St. Louis was looking at a relatively easy three points Saturday, when hosting the Florida Panthers who entered the game with the worst record in the NHL.
“We obviously didn’t respect the opponent last night we didn’t respect Florida,” Armstrong says. “And this is a good league, there’s a hell of a player on every team. And if our arrogance just thinks we can come in and throw our sticks in and teams will just bow down to us because we’re the mighty St Louis Blues, we’re sadly mistaken. And when we play like that, that’s what happens.”
After the 5-2 loss, Yeo demanded that every player stay in the locker room and be available to the media. Armstrong said he and Yeo had a meeting Sunday morning, then Yeo met one-on-one with multiple players later that day to discuss how to change the momentum in this recent stretch of games.
“To just let them know that the standard that has been set here by the predecessors is not being met,” Armstrong says. “And his has to be met or changes will happen.”
The good news for St. Louis is that Jaden Schwartz looks like he could return a week earlier than expected. The forward, who was one of the most dynamic players in the league until his injury in mid December. Schwartz was a full-participant in Sunday’s practice is expected to do the same on Monday.
Yeo told media Monday, Schwartz will not be in Tuesday’s lineup, when the Blues host the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m.