Lineup adjustments can be a common occurrence in the playoffs. Based on his comments Sunday, St. Louis Blues coach Mike Yeo is seriously looking to make some changes for Game 4.
The Blues trail the Nashville Predators 2-1 in the series, following a disappointing 3-1 loss on Sunday.
Nashville dominated puck possession for long stretches, putting this one away on a goal from Roman Josi after just such a shift — caused by a Blues turnover in the defensive end — late in the third period.
Yeo praised the Predators for the way they checked the Blues, but was straight to the point with his assessment of his team’s performance.
“I mean, we scored one goal tonight. Fact of the matter is, for a large part of the game, we weren’t even competitive,” he told reporters.
“We obviously have to be way better. We have to make a couple of changes, personnel-wise, for the next game and look at the tape and see what we can do … a little bit better than tonight because it wasn’t good enough.”
Despite getting outplayed, the Blues were, for much of the second half of the game, one shot away from the tying goal. But hopes of a possible comeback were nullified after a shift of about 1:10 of furious Nashville possession in the offensive zone capped off by the Josi blast.
Blues defensemen Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko — who both had a miserable day in terms of puck possession — had been stuck on the ice for almost two minutes before Josi scored, per NHL.com.
That’s one glaring example.
“The way we played in our [defensive zone] matched the way that we executed, matched the way that we competed all over the ice,” said Yeo.
“We were waiting to see what they were going to do. We were reacting to that. So we’ve got to initiate much better.”