It was a perplexing day in St. Louis. Chris Carpenter was at Busch Stadium, explaining why he isn’t playing baseball this spring. Pope Benedict XVI was in Rome, explaining why he no longer will lead the Catholic church.
And the Blues were at Scottrade, where it appears they no longer are capable of playing hockey, at least not in the manner to which St. Louis was accustomed. Explanations were inconsequential as the visiting Los Angeles Kings defeated the Blues 4-1.

Something’s happening here; what it is ain’t exactly clear. But with 36 games remaining on a 48-game schedule, it would behoove the Blues to figure it out.

“It’s slow motion,” said veteran center Scott Nichol. “It’s like there’s no jam. And that’s what we prided ourselves on last year, having fun, the emotion and the jam, the battle …

“We’re not embracing anything right now. I don’t know if we’re waiting for the next guy to do it. Guys are gripping their sticks a little bit more. … We just have to realize no one’s going to get you out of this other than yourself and the guy next to you.”

The Blues opened a four-game home stand last week with the best home record in the NHL since 2011-12. They finished the stay with a 0-3-1 mark and a flight to Detroit, where they face the resurgent Red Wings on Wednesday.

“This is the home stand from hell,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We lost our goalie, we didn’t play as well and now we’ve got to take this onto the road and we’ve got to be much more accountable to each other.”

The accounting was flawed against the Kings, who manhandled the Blues in the Western Conference semifinals last spring and, their 3-5-2 appearances notwithstanding, did it again Monday.