In a shocking turn of events, the St. Louis Blues announced the firing of head coach Craig Berube, marking a significant shift for the team that he once led to Stanley Cup glory. General Manager Doug Armstrong delivered the news following a disheartening 6-4 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, a defeat that extends the Blues’ losing streak to four games.
The 2019-20 season has been less than favorable for the Blues, with a record of 13-14-1. This slump places them sixth in the Central Division, lagging nine points behind Colorado. More concerning is their position in the Western Conference, standing 10th out of 16 teams.
Offensive struggles have been a glaring issue, with the Blues ranking 26th in the NHL for goals per game at 2.82. Their power play efficiency is alarmingly low at 8.4%, the second-worst in the league.
The Downfall and Dismissal of Craig Berube
Craig Berube, a figure synonymous with the Blues’ 2019 championship triumph, leaves behind a notable legacy. Taking over from Mike Yeo in 2018 as interim coach, Berube orchestrated a remarkable revival, achieving a record of 38-19-6 in the 2018-19 season and culminating in the Stanley Cup victory. Over six seasons, his record stands at 206-131-44, placing him third in franchise history for wins.
The decision came after a frustrating game against Detroit, where the Blues, leading 4-3 into the third period, the team conceded two goals and an empty-netter, underscoring their recent defensive and offensive challenges. Berube emphasized the need for the team to “earn everything” and acknowledged their shortcomings in defending their net.
In the wake of Berube’s departure, Drew Bannister, head coach of AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, steps in as the interim coach. Bannister, with a commendable record of 93-58-19 and consecutive playoff appearances in the AHL, including a run to the Calder Cup final, is set to lead the Blues in their upcoming game against Ottawa Senators.