Ken Hitchcock can’t yet answer the question. Are the Blues simply in a rut, or is there a larger problem that may require attention from general manager Doug Armstrong?

The club has lost four of its last six games, and there were issues that didn’t go unnoticed in the two wins during that stretch.

No one could hide, however, in the Blues’ 7-1 beating by the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday — a game that highlighted a disconnection in team play, the continued disappearance of specific players and inconsistent goaltending.

The Blues had a scheduled day off in New York on Wednesday, a break required by the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, and perhaps it was timely as Hitchcock and Armstrong survey the situation.

“I don’t know, it could be a rut or it could be a hole ... it depends on how fast you come out of it,” Hitchcock said. “It’s the same common denominator in our game. We’re built very much the sum of parts and when we get individualistic, we break down even further. It’s about our skating. When we stay with it, we’re very effective.”