GAME PREVIEW: Blues look to snap four-game losing streak against Sharks

St. Louis Blues

EDMONTON, ALBERTA – AUGUST 21: Head coach Craig Berube and the St. Louis Blues wait on the bench during the slosing minutes of their loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 21, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis (8-5-2) will look to snap a four-game losing streak when the Blues hit the ice against the San Jose Sharks (8-6-1) tonight at 7 p.m. at the Enterprise Center.

It hasn’t been long since these two teams met.

The Blues defeated the Sharks, 5-3, on November 4 in San Jose. Tyler Bozak, Brandon Sadd and Robert Thomas all led the way with two points apiece.

That was then.

A four-game losing streak is now.

Here are the headlines heading into tonight’s matchup.

THE LOSING STREAK (DUH)

With losses to Nashville, Carolina, Edmonton and Arizona in their last four games, the Blues have been in a bit of a rut lately to say the least. It’s an even harder pill to swallow when you think back to the five-game win streak the Blues started the season with.

The upside? Every loss has come by one point.

The downside? Every loss has come by one point.

It’s no surprise the NHL is a tough league. Blues Head Coach Craig Berube is notorious for detail-oriented coaching, and plenty of these close losses have been a difference in the details.

“You’re not going to get an easy game. It just doesn’t happen.” Berube said. No matter what team, where they’re at, what lineup they have, all of these teams will give you a fight. It’s a very close league.”

In this week’s Tuesday night matchup against Arizona, Blues fans applauded the return of Center Oskar Sundqvist from injury and Defenseman Torey Krug from the COVID Protocols List. The night’s celebrations ended in a gut-wrenching loss to a one-win team, but the idea of getting players back on the ice is a positive one. Blues head coach Craig Berube says his team needs to start working as a cohesive unit if they want to get back to their winning ways.

“I think we defeated ourselves in a way a little bit,” Coach Berube said. “Against Arizona, we weren’t that team unit, you know? Like, when things are going well, we tend to look inside and become individuals a little bit. That was a big conversation yesterday.”

Both St. Louis and San Jose come into tonight’s matchup with 8 wins. Despite the win early this month, Coach Berube understands the Sharks have a more complete roster this time around. The matchup, like most NHL matchups, won’t be easy.

“You can’t go into any game and take it lightly… All of these teams are going to be a fight,” Berube said. “I know [the Sharks] didn’t have a full team [last time we met]. They are a real quick team. They are going to get on you with numbers.”

THE RETURN OF HUSSO

The Blues will celebrate another return this week as goaltender Ville Husso will take the ice for his second game of the 2021-2022 season.

Husso makes his return for the first time since late October, spending over three weeks off the ice due to COVID 19. Despite only experiencing “cold symptoms” for “a couple days,” Husso feels he’s ready to play. When asked if he was worried about his ability to perform, Husso was confident in his preparation.

“You know tracking puck and the speed and stuff, but we did a good job with that,” Husso said. “I feel ready to go tonight.”

The last time Blues fans saw Husso play, he dazzled, finishing with 34 saves on 34 shots against in a shutout win over the Los Angeles Kings on October 25.

The Blues could use that kind of performance if they hope to snap this four-game skid.

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