Blues ‘need to get that competitive nature back’ after ugly road swing

AP
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One would think Ken Hitchcock would be an unhappy man on Monday, given he was on the heels of a two-game losing streak in which his club surrendered a whopping 11 goals.

But instead, Hitch was happy.

Calling it the best practice the Blues have had in nearly two years, Hitchcock praised his team’s “focus, the energy, the communication, disposition, compete level,” just two days after getting drilled 8-4 in Columbus.

Captain Alex Pietrangelo said the response was sorely needed.

“That’s the reality of the situation,” he said, per the Post-Dispatch. “I thought we went out there today, we battled each other and we played each other honest. We need to get that competitive nature back.”

November has been a month to forget for the Blues. They’ve been crushed on three separate occasions — 5-0 against the Rangers, 6-2 against the Stars and the Blue Jackets beating, after which Kevin Shattenkirk said the Blues were “dazed” by the situation.

Needless to say, there have been issues.

Health-wise, the club has been thinned out on defense due to injuries to Joel Edmundson and Robert Bortuzzo.

The Blues also haven’t gotten enough offense from key forwards like Jori Lehtera, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz — a trio that’s only combined for five goals and 12 points thus far.

The schedule hasn’t done a ton of favors, either. St. Louis has played seven games in 12 nights in November, with a couple of travel heavy two-game sets.

Thankfully for them, the last issue will be rectified soon. Starting tomorrow against Buffalo, the Blues will begin a stretch that sees them play eight of their next 10 at Scottrade, which will be a great opportunity to make up ground in the Central.