Berube blasts Blues' top players: 'I guess they don't care about the team'
St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube let his top players have it following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
"A lot of our best players not doing their job," Berube said.
When asked why, Berube didn't mince words. "I don't know, you'll have to ask them, Jim. I guess they don't care about the team," he said.
Berube said star forwards Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou weren't good enough in a contest that saw the Blues cough up a lead late in regulation, and suggested they take a page out of Alexey Toropchenko's book - one of the few players that drew praise from the frustrated coach.
"Our best players don't play with any passion, no emotion and no inspiration at all," Berube said. "They don't play inspired hockey. You cannot play in this league without emotion, grit, being inspired. They're getting paid lots of money and they're not doing the job. End of story."
Kyrou and Thomas are St. Louis' two leading scorers on the year, but were held off the scoresheet Thursday and were minus-3 collectively.
Toropchenko questioned the Blues' effort level as well.
"Even if we are not in a playoff spot, I will do everything because it's a hockey game," he said, per NHL.com's Lou Korac. "This is NHL. You are not playing in a beer league or something. You need to show something, you need to show character and be strong everywhere, play from your heart."
The Blues are essentially out of the Western Conference playoff picture with 56 points on the year, and management signified their intentions of planning for the future by trading core veterans Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O'Reilly earlier this month.
St. Louis returns to the ice Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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