A sampling of tweets following the Blues’ 7-1 loss in New Jersey last night:
But despite what Doug Armstrong called “an awful game” versus the Devils — a game in which Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott combined to stop just 16 of New Jersey’s 23 shots, causing what one columnist called “increasing unrest” in St. Louis — the general manager wasn’t putting it all on the goaltending.
“I think we’re a strong team when we defend well and we haven’t defended as well as we need to,” Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. “And obviously you need timely saves. I know the guys want to give us better games than we’ve gotten in the last week and I’m comfortable that they will.”
At .910, the Blues’ team save percentage ranks a middling 18th in the NHL. That bears mentioning, because it’s not often that Stanley Cups are won with middling goaltending, and winning the franchise’s first championship is a legitimate goal in 2014.
Hence, all the Ryan Miller trade speculation as the March 5 deadline looms. A pending unrestricted free agent, Miller, 33, is enjoying an excellent individual season in Buffalo, boasting a .925 save percentage in 34 starts.