Difficulties endured by the Blues goaltending and defense of late have caused the team to slide in the standings. When the Blues lose, it has primarily been those two units taking the brunt of the criticism.
Of course, just because a team gives up a ton of goals doesn’t mean its issues are confined to the players behind the blues line. In today’s NHL, forwards carry a great deal of responsibility for the success of their team defensively.
At times during this slump, Ken Hitchcock has picked on the forwards for using too much energy trying to keep pucks in the offensive zone at inopportune times, thus putting the defense in bad positions.
Like the goalies and defensemen, forwards have to do their part in goal prevention.
Robby Fabbri took that call to action literally during the second period of Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Jets.
Jake Allen had already allowed three of the four goals he would surrender on the evening, and Winnipeg was looking to pile on. A tricky barrage put Allen in poor position to defend against a rebound. Fabbri, on the other hand, was in the perfect spot.
He slid in front of the crease just in time to deflect a shot from an otherwise empty net. Fabbri's save didn't make much difference in the outcome of the game, but it was at least a bright spot on an otherwise tough night for the home team.
As far as the actual goaltending goes, Allen's performance was a step in the right direction–he made it all the way through the game without getting pulled. That's not meant to sound disingenuous–it's about small steps right now as the Blues try to find their way back to the home cookin' they enjoyed early in the season.
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