The St. Louis Blues are coming off perhaps their worst loss of the season, but also they’ve shown the ability to bounce back under coach Andy Murray.
St. Louis looks to avoid losing back-to-back games for just the second time this season when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night, nearly one year to the date Murray helped the Blues begin their impressive turnaround.
St. Louis (16-10-1) lost 9-5 to Colorado on Sunday. Hannu Toivonen—pressed into service recently due to Manny Legace’s knee injury—stopped only 17 of 25 shots. Marek Schwarz, making his season debut as Toivonen’s backup, faced four shots and made only three saves.
“Nothing went the way we wanted,” St. Louis defenseman Christian Backman said. “It was just not a good game.”
Murray, who took over for the fired Mike Kitchen on Dec. 12, gave his team Monday off after their late arrival from Denver combined with icy weather in the Midwest. He also believes his team will respond.
“After I came on board, basically we tried to sell a belief system that if we played hard every night and competed, that we would have an opportunity to be successful,” Murray said. “You know, losing is misery. And you can either feel good about yourself and win and work extremely hard or not put the effort in and have that losing feeling.”
When Murray took over the Blues, they were mired in a seven-game losing streak and were just 7-17-4. They dropped Murray’s first four games, but have gone 43-26-8 since then and the 94 points earned in that span ties them with Colorado for eighth-most in the league.
“Andy has brought a system in and just a change, a change in the way people think,” Blues team president John Davidson said. “Players believe in him, the fans believe in him, and nobody works harder.”
St. Louis lost a season-high three in a row from Nov. 3-9.
The Blues, who got two goals from Brad Boyes in a 4-3 win at Edmonton on Friday, will be looking for their fourth straight win overall against the Oilers (13-16-2) and fourth in a row when facing them at the Scottrade Center.
Boyes failed to score against the Avs on Sunday, but still leads St. Louis with 17 in only 27 games this season. With his next goal, Boyes will exceed his total from last season, split between Boston and St. Louis.
Edmonton (13-16-2) kicked off a three-game road trip with its third straight loss, 5-4 in overtime to Dallas on Monday. Dwayne Roloson’s road woes in net continued for the Oilers when he was pulled just over 9 minutes into the game after giving up three goals on six shots.
“Three goals in 10 minutes is too much,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. “I can’t say exactly what the problem was, but it was time for a change.”
In 10 road starts this season, Roloson is 1-7-1 with a 3.91 goals-against average. At home, he’s 5-4-0 with a 2.51 GAA in nine starts.
Roloson has made only six career starts in St. Louis, going 2-2-0 with two ties and a 1.63 GAA. He hasn’t registered a victory there, though, since posting a 3-0 shutout in March 2002 while with Minnesota.
Mathieu Garon, who allowed two goals in place of Roloson on Monday, was in net for Friday’s loss to St. Louis. He’s 2-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA in his career at St. Louis.
Shawn Horcoff scored his team-high 14th goal in the loss to the Stars, giving him five goals and six assists in a seven-game points streak. Against the Blues, Horcoff has two goals and six assists in a five-game run.