Monday, October 30, 2017

LA Kings vs St. Louis Blues - Game 13 Recap

Blues Conquer Kings to Rule the West
Goals: Tarasenko (6), Schwartz (8), Gunnarsson (3) and Sobotka (2)
Record 10-2-1

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game

  • The tone of the first period was set by the line of Upshall, Brodziak and Jaskin who went in hard with some aggressive forechecking.  
  • The LA play by play announcers said the first period was the best they had played all year and they did put some early pressure on Jake Allen with some good shots on goal, but the period ended with no score.
  • Blues did a good job during 1st penalty kill as the Kings didn't get a shot on goal.
  • Vladimir Tarasenko was also very aggressive early with a couple of big hits on the forecheck. He said after the game in his interview that this team is all playing for each other and nobody is doing that more so than #91.
  • The 2nd period was wide open with 5 goals but I felt the Blues outplayed the Kings in every way putting 14 shots on goal to LA's 7. 
  • The first Blues goal started on the other end of the ice when Schwartz got the puck and passed it through his legs to clear the zone, then after a turnover back to the Kings on the other end, Schwartz stole a pass in the neutral zone and hit Tarasenko down the left hand side for a goal that beat goalie, Jonathan Quick high on the blocker side.
  • Less than 3 minutes later Tarasenko and Schwartz were at it again, attacking after the backhand shot attempt by Schenn, Schwartz put the puck in the back of the net off the rebound.
  • LA scored to close within a goal on a fluke play.  Pietrangelo broke his stick near the blue line in the Blues end and headed for the bench but the puck fell on the stick of Pearson for the Kings and he walked in on Jake unimpeded and made a nice move to open the wickets and stuck the puck in the five hole.
  • But 3 minutes later Gunnarsson scored his 3rd goal of the year and the 14th goal by a Blues defenseman on the season when he launched a puck from the left side blue line that flipped and flopped like a dying quail on its way into the back of the net.  Good traffic in front kept Quick from seeing the puck and the Blues were back on top by 2.
  • After another Blues penalty, a deflected shot went in to close the score to 3-2. I've been saying it for a while now, it seems to me like we let too much traffic stand around in front of our goal. Anyone who looks back at the goals we've allowed this year, lots of them have been due to traffic in front of the net and it rarely looks like we've tried to put a body on them to move them out.  No goaltender can see through players and see every puck, and that's what happened on this one.
  • There wasn't much flow to the third period.  LA was playing their last of 6 games on a long road trip and the Blues just wanted the clock to get to 00:00. It seemed to stand still for most of the period. 
  • Trying to even the score, the Kings pulled the goalie and Sobotka put one in the empty net for the final score of 4-2.
  • I don't think we often appreciate how good our team defense is.  Everyone on this team, from Tarasenko to the 3rd line defensemen, this team plays good defense.  We've made some of the best teams in the league look like they have really struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. 
  • St. Louis is now 5-0-0 at home and leads the Western Division with 21 points. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Columbus Blue Jackets vs St. Louis Blues - Game 12 Recap

Blues Take Blue Jackets to Cleaners in 4-1 Victory at Scottrade
Goals: Sobotka (1), Upshall (1), Edmundson (3) and Brodziak (2)
Record 9-2-1

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game
  • Jake Allen was superb tonight in goal.  He stopped 36 of 37 shots, including several breakaways and rebounds.  He was all over the place.
  • Columbus really put the pressure on in 2nd period and into the 3rd with lots of tough shots and legitimate scoring chances but Allen said "No!"  Their only goal came on a play where Oskar Sundqvist was tripped not once but twice and didn't get the call, resulting in a rush back the other way, a crisp pass across the ice and shot that Jake just couldn't react to in time.
  • The SSS line of Steen, Stastny and Sobotka almost looks like our "enforcer line" as much as they forecheck and go after the puck.  It's fun to watch them. 
  • Power play was not good tonight. Thankfully, we didn't need it. We gave them shorthanded chances to score and wasted quite a lot of time when we had the man advantage and didn't really have many shots on goal with our power play unit.
  • The line of Upshall, Brodziak and Jaskin has really stepped up their play.  They've been aggressive on the forecheck and made a lot of things happen tonight. They combined for 7 points tonight. (2 G and 5 A)
  • The defense added to the score sheet once again when Edmundson scored his 3rd goal of the season.  The D has scored 13 goals thus far.
  • Brodziak's goal came on a rebound after Jaskin's screamer hit the crossbar for the final score of 4-1. 
  • Tarasenko, Schwartz and Schenn seem to be struggling to find space the past few games.  I'm sure that other teams scouting and film sessions have contributed to this as they adjust and put more focus on their line.  I'm sure all the Blues fans want to see Tarasenko get things rolling and I'll bet he's getting a bit frustrated too.  I saw Yeo talking to him at the start of the 3rd period, hopefully encouraging him to keep doing what he's doing and his time will come.  The good news is we aren't having to rely on him to do all of our scoring and we are winning in other ways.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, October 27, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes - Game 11 Recap

Blues Win Close One in Carolina on Schenn's Game-Winner
Goals: Jaskin (1) and Schenn (3)
Record 8-2-1

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game

  • I thought both teams struggled to find their game.  First period was scoreless with only 7 shots on goal from each team.  St. Louis had more sustained offensive pressure early but neither team could score.
  • Tarasenko continues to step up his play. The highlight for me was seeing him go down and slide in front of a Carolina shot to block it.
  • Hutton continues to impress when he gets his chance.  He is now 3-0-0, all on the road this season.  He stopped 26 of 27 shots.
  • Blues defense continues to be solid.  We blocked 28 shots on the night.
  • First goal of the game scored by Dimitri Jaskin.  He was listed as a healthy scratch early in the day by but fought hard to get his stick on the puck twice before putting it in the back of the net. It was his first goal in 36 games played dating back to last year.
  • Special teams was not a factor in this one as only one penalty was called all evening, a tripping call on Tarasenko midway through the 3rd period. 
  • The only Carolina goal came on a beautiful rush and behind-the-back pass from 36 year old veteran Justin Williams to the Hurricane's leading scorer, Jeff Skinner for his 6th goal of the season.
  • Vince Dunn continues to impress with good decisions and solid play.  Yeo continues to put him on the ice with the game on the line.  His help keeping the puck in the offensive zone led to Schenn's game winner.  
  • Backup goalie, Cam Ward stopped successive shots from Tarasenko and Schwartz but was nowhere to be found when the 2nd rebound bounced at Schenn's feet. He stuck it home for the game-winner.
  • Carolina had some fast skaters and great puck-handlers.  Finland-born Sebastian Aho had some nice moves and caught my eye. 
  • I like Brayden Schenn!
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Calgary Flames vs St. Louis Blues - Game 10 Recap

Blues Look Impressive in Return to Scottrade With Win Over Flames
Goals: Steen (1), Schwartz (7), Pietrangelo (4), Stastny (4) and Edmundson (2)
Record 7-2-1

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game
  • Calgary controlled the play early as the Blues seemed to have trouble getting into their game. 
  • Once the Blues sustained some offensive pressure things started to fall into place. 
  • Special teams looked much better tonight. Although we didn't score on first power play, the momentum we gained carried over back into even strength as Steen sniped his first goal of the season shortly after the first power play. 
  • Schwartz scored on the power play 4 minutes into the 2nd and then Pietrangelo got another power play goal about 3 minutes later. 
  • Sobotka looked good on the line with Steen and Stastny. The SSS line. 
  • I like the first two lines the way Yeo lined 'em up tonight, Schenn, Schwartz and Tarasenko being the other. 
  • Steen was EVERYWHERE tonight. He had 4 points and was only denied a fifth point on Edmundson's empty netter because he wasn't on the ice at the time. I think I heard him yell "shoot" though, so I'm giving him an assist on that one too. 
  • Some fans were faulting Allen on the 2nd Calgary goal but he just lost an edge. It's gonna happen once in a while. He's a great puck-handling goalie, so I'd rather he not do anything differently. He made some good saves when we needed him to. 
  • Parayko filled in when Allen was out of net and gave up the goal in his goaltending debut. LOL 
  • Blues penalty kill was solid. Calgary went 0 for 2 when they had the advantage. 
  • I think we were fortunate to catch Calgary on the back end of their back-to-back games. They beat Nashville the night before in a shootout but it looked to me like they got a little gassed by the 3rd period tonight. 
  • Johnny Hockey and Little Tkachuk and crew have some speed and skill. This was a good win. 
  • After 7 of first 9 games on the road, the Blues now have 7 of 9 at home. Let's keep it going. 
  • Vladimir Tarasenko had a shot go off the goalpost, but he hasn't found the net in a while. He's doing lots of other things right and others are scoring. If he gets going, look out. 
  • Parayko nearly had a goal on a slick move to the net but was also robbed by the pipe. I'd like to see him score soon, too. 
  • We had much better 'net traffic' tonight, certainly a point Coach Yeo has been stressing. On Pietrangelo's goal, it was a "Steen screen" on the goalie as Lack didn't even move when the shot was taken.  The puck was in the net before he even knew what happened. 
  • Backup goalie, Lack was previously 6-0 in his career vs Blues. However, he is no longer undefeated against the Blues.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, October 22, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Vegas Golden Knights - Game 9 Recap

Vegas Scores Game Winner in Last Half-Minute of Overtime
Goals: Paajarvi (1), Pietrangelo (3)
Record 6-2-1

My Thoughts on Tonight's Game

  • Our team defense has shown flashes of brilliance! We only allowed 19 shots on goal in regulation after only allowing 8 shots from Chicago in first 2 periods. If we can extend that to a full 60 minutes it will be tough for anyone to beat us.
  • However, Jake Allen had no chance on two goals in 2nd period.  Again, we are allowing opponents to stand around in front of our goalie and screen him from seeing the puck.
  • Not scoring on the Man Advantage is costing us.  We were 0-4 on the power play and now have only scored once in our last 19 chances.  Last power play goal we scored was against Florida 5 games ago.
  • Vegas is a very aggressive team.  They don't give you any space and are always pursuing the puck.  They don't just stand around.  They made it tough on us to pass and get into an offensive rhythm.  Even though we had 49 shots on goal, you can't deny their aggressiveness.
  • We had a lot of sloppy passes in first 50 minutes or so.  Several times we lost the offensive zone and had to back out and start over just because we couldn't keep it in.
  • Sammy Blais was leading the team in hits at one point in this game, I think. He and Vince Dunn are promising prospects.  
  • I felt that the refs swallowed their whistles in the overtime.  Two times they didn't call penalties that seemed fairly obvious.
  • Brayden Schenn seems to have stepped up his intensity even more.  He was all over the place tonight.  I like Schenn.
  • Oskar Sundqvist has also picked up his play.  His wrap-around attempt led to Magnus Paajarvi goal. 
  • Scottie Upshall played hard tonight.  He scrapped and scraped for every loose puck and left it all on the ice.
  • Jaden Schwartz nearly won it in regulation on the pass from Vladimir Tarasenko with 5 seconds left.  I still don't know how he didn't get it in the net on that play.
  • Vladimir Tarasenko was the reason we scored the goal that tied the game.  He didn't get an assist because I guess they don't give 3 assists on a goal, but he went into the corner and dug the puck out on the forecheck.  That goal doesn't happen without his hustle.
  • Colton Parayko is a beast.  You just don't see anybody beating him very easily.  His size, reach and overall defensive skill is hard to overlook. 
  • Power play has been lackluster.  We gotta find somebody who will get in front and stay in front and until that happens, even 49 shots on goal isn't going to win games.
  • Bottom line, we got a point on the road.  
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Thursday, October 19, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche - Game 8 Recap

Blues Hang on For Victory in Colorado
Goals: Stastny (3), Schwartz (6), Dunn (2) and Bortuzzo (1)
Record 6-2-0

My thoughts on tonight's game:

  • Hutton once again backing up Jake Allen on the 2nd night of a back-to-back game played like a #1 goalie.  The Avalanche only scored once while he was in the net.  We just gotta keep him in the net. LOL (See following points for explanation)
  • Stastny scores his 600th point of his career on a nice goal in the 2nd period to tie the game. He later assisted and notched point #601.
  • Schwartz continues to score, this time while falling down.
  • Dunn's goal was a rocket off the pipe for his 2nd career goal.  John Kelly's comment "Dunn gets it done!" was cool.
  • Bortuzzo continues his physical play.  Tonight he even tackled his own goalie. (See point #1)
  • On a funky carom off the boards, Hutton finds himself out of position and allowed a goal when he couldn't get back in net. (See point #1)
  • The line of Brodziak, Jaskin and Upshall is looking better the last couple of games.
  • Sobotka's shifty move and no-look pass to Bortuzzo on his goal was outstanding.
  • It seems like we don't always do a good job of getting a body on guys in front of the net, especially when we are on the penalty kill. 
  • We have to find a way to play 60 minutes.  We're being outscored in the 3rd period 13-8 thus far this season. Late penalties and lapses in concentration will cost us points.
  • Tarasenko may not have scored tonight but he does so many things right.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks vs St. Louis Blues - Game 7 Recap

Schwartz Gets Hat Trick in Win Over Blackhawks
Goals: Schwartz (3,4,5), Taraskenko (5) and Brodziak (1)
Record 5-2-0

My thoughts on the game

  • Blues defense was OUTSTANDING - only allowed 4 shots on goal in each of the first 2 periods.
  • As I said earlier this year, and Mike Yeo said in an interview today, Jaden Schwartz never gives up.  After a head-on crash into the boards late in the first period he comes back and scores two more goals for the hat trick. 
  • Forechecking was much better tonight through 2 periods.  Looked like we got a little gassed by the 3rd period, but it was a very physical game.
  • Bortuzzo was hitting everybody. 
  • We had much better traffic in front of the net tonight, something that's been lacking in the past few games.
  • Fortunate to escape this game with no major injuries.  Pietrangelo and Schwartz both went hard into the boards.
  • Penalty kill was very solid.  Up until late in the 3rd Chicago was 0 for 4 on power play with only 2 shots on goal.
  • NBCSN commentators bragged on Dunn.  He's looking better all the time.
  • Paajarvi had a good game.
  • Jake Allen with the assist on the 2nd Schwartz goal!
  • Blues had a harder time scoring when Chicago pulled their goalie than we did when Crawford was in net. LOL
  • Nice gesture by the Blues to acknowledge broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, who is battling colon cancer.  This and the nice "welcome back" to Hitchcock in the season opener reminds me that St. Louis fans are always classy.  
  • I like Schenn.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, October 14, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Tampa Bay Lightning - Game 6 Recap

Blues Drop 2nd in a Row - Fall to 2-2 on Road trip
Goals: Tarasenko (4)
Record 4-2-0

My thoughts on tonight's game
  • If Tarasenko's shot in 1st period goes in instead of hitting the crossbar, it could have been a different game.
  • Seems like everything we shot went high. If scouting reports on Tampa goalie were "shoot high" surely we could have adjusted and shot lower at some point in the game. 
  • We didn't seem to get many shots in front of the net.  It seemed to me like we had a lot of sharp angle shots from the edges. Other teams seem to get more shots in the slot and in front of the net than we are right now. 
  • Penalty kill was good until we allowed one late in the 3rd. 
  • Ref missed a call on delay of game in 3rd period which would have given us a power play for a minute or so.
  • Blais had a knack of being in a good spot several times and had some legit chances for a goal or two in his first NHL game. I think he will be good.
  • We've got so many good, young prospects.  It's an exciting time to be a Blues fan.
  • Tampa did a good job of keeping us on the edges and out of the middle for the most part of the game.
  • Looked like we turned the puck over a lot in the neutral zone. Jake Allen made reference to that in his post game interview as well.
  • Dunn is looking better with every game.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Thursday, October 12, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Florida Panthers - Game 5 Recap

Blues notch first loss of the season falling to Florida 5-2
Goals by: Stastny (2) and Dunn (1)
Record 4-1-0

My thoughts on tonight's game. 
  • We looked like a different team tonight. A step or two slow all night, sloppy defense, sloppy passing. 
  • However, I try to keep things positive so here goes...
  • Schwartz looks like he never gives up. 
  • Although Dunn wasn't perfect he looks like he's gaining confidence and his first NHL goal was a beauty. 
  • Looks like anyone could have walked right up at game time and bought a seat anywhere they wanted. There were entire sections that were nearly empty. (see photos below) 

  • The refs in this one were a little too much. How many times did you yell "just drop the puck, will ya!"? 
  • On to Tampa Bay. Let's close this trip out with a win. 
  • PS. I wasn't there. I listened on the radio to 1st and 2nd period, then went home and watched from the beginning on FSMW.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How We Became a Blues Family

My dad with 3 of his sons, 3 of his grandsons and 3 granddaughters at our annual trip to a game

50 Years with the Blues
When the Blues came to St. Louis in 1967, I was 3 years old.  My dad was remodeling our old farmhouse, working in the attic in the evenings. For some reason he started listening to the Blues games on KMOX while he worked.  

I don't know what he liked about hockey so much.  To my knowledge he hadn't ever been to a hockey game or played hockey.  But, he followed religiously.  By the time I was 4 or 5 he bought my brother and I our first pair of skates.  They were "double runners".  You'd have to stop every few minutes and clean out the ice that got stuck between the blades.  We started skating on the lake next to our house every time we could. It seems like the lake froze over a lot more back then.

We started off with skates and sticks and dad built a couple of nets out of 2x4's and chicken wire for netting.  Eventually we had helmets and elbow pads, but we never had the "full gear".  I remember dad wearing the old volleyball knee pads on the outside of his coveralls.  We didn't care what we looked like.  We just loved playing hockey.

We got some of the neighbor kids skating so that we had enough to play games. Dad was a school teacher, so when we were out of school for bad weather, he was home too and we have lots of great memories of skating and playing hockey while we were growing up. 

We never had a lot of money, trying to raise 4 boys on a teacher's salary was kind of tight.  And living 90 miles from St. Louis in Southern Illinois made it tough to get to the games, but dad managed to take us to a game or two each year in the old arena and later on called "The Checkerdome." We have a lot of great memories from those days as well.

Fast forward 50 years and we are still all hockey fans.  So are our kids.  And EVERYBODY is a Blues fan.  Each year, we try to take dad to a game.  Last year, during the 50th anniversary year, 10 of us went to a game.  We had 3 generations of Blues fans there cheering on our team.

At the games I catch myself just watching my dad.  When the Blues are making their way out of the tunnel to the ice he starts cheering and clapping, screaming "LET'S GO BLUUUUUEEESSSS!"  He gets so excited it's just as much fun to watch him as it is to see the Blues come out. He's 79 now and I don't know how many more times we will have to enjoy this great tradition. 

I hope he gets to see the Blues win a cup.  It would really seal the deal for him, and all of us.  But, no matter the end result, being a Blues family has brought us lots of great memories and gives us one more reason to get together and brings us closer as a family. 

Blues on a Plane

I liked this photo.  Scott Upshall posted it on his Instagram after his 700th NHL game. Can you name everyone in the photo?

First St. Louis Blues goal ever

On this day in history:
Listen to Jack Buck call the first-ever St. Louis Blues goal

Listen Here

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs NY Rangers - Game 4 Recap

Blues Remain Undefeated on Young Season with 3-1 Win Over NY Rangers
Goals: Gunnarson (2), Schenn (2) and Schwartz (2)
Record 4-0-0

My thoughts on tonight's game
  • Gunnarson scored during the National Anthem almost. 19:45 actually, but that's as quick a goal as I can remember. 
  • Hutton looked like a #1 tonight. His save on the short-handed breakaway and several saves late in 3rd were outstanding. 
  • Schwartz looked good, especially on his rush where he drew the penalty and nearly walked it in past two defenders then gets an empty-netter late to seal the night. 
  • We played much better with the lead late in the 3rd under some pretty heavy pressure by the Rangers. 
  • I like Schenn! 
  • 4-0 for only 2nd time in team history.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Monday, October 9, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs NY Islanders - Game 3 Recap

Blues Win in Shootout Over Islanders 3-2
Goals: Tarasenko (2,3) 
Record 3-0-0

My thoughts on today's game 
  • Jake Allen was outstanding! 
  • Tarasenko buries two today, a backhander and another short-side goal. 
  • Penalty kill was perfect today, even killing off a 5 on 3 for a minute and a half. 
  • Hope we can quit giving up late goals when we have a lead. 
  • Overtime and shootout made me nervous. 
  • Schenn and Tarasenko scored in shootout, Allen stopped both Islander shots
  • I like Schenn! 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dallas Stars vs St. Louis Blues - Game 2 Recap

Blues Defeat Stars in Hitch's Return 4-2
Goals: Gunnarson (1), Edmundon (1), Schwartz (1) and Tarasenko (1)
Record 2-0-0

My thoughts on the home opener versus the Dallas Stars. 
  • First time in the updated Scott Trade Center. WOW! Kudos to the Blues. It was amazing! 
  • Crowd was excited and loud. National Anthem was off the hook. 
  • More offense from the defense! 2 goals from Gunnarsson and Edmundson along with another point from Pietrangelo assisting on Edmundson goal. 
  • First period was a barrage with great passing & sustained pressure scoring 3 goals in 5 minutes. 
  • This team is showing great teamwork and is fun to watch. 
  • Tarasenko is getting lots of attention and the more we keep scoring the way we have, opponents will have to adjust and it will free up Vladi eventually. He showed how dangerous he is with the short-side goal in period 3. 
  • I thought Jake Allen was PHENOMENAL! Especially with glove save on Benn in wide open net.
  • Lastly, I like Schenn!     
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

St. Louis Blues vs Pittsburgh Penguins - Game 1 Recap

Blues spoil Penguins Stanley Cup Banner Hanging Event with 5-4 OT win
Goals: Schenn (1), Parayko (1), Pietrangelo (1,2), Stastny (1)
Record 1-0-0

My thoughts on tonight's win against the defending Stanley Cup Champs: 
  • Who needs frontline scoring when you get 3 goals from defensemen? 
  • Thompson's got some moves. 
  • Dunn looked solid for his first NHL game. 
  • Pietrangelo played a great game. 
  • Schenn makes a difference. 
  • First 2 goals allowed Allen didn't have a chance. 
  • Late goals from Pittsburgh were due to poorly timed penalties. 
  • Clean up a couple of things and we look pretty good for a team picked to finish in bottom half of our division.
#AllTogetherNowStL  #LGB

Patrik, Berglund, Bergie! Hat-Trick Leads Blues to 4-1 Win in Chicago

St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks - Game 81 Recap Goals: Berglund (15,16,17) and Schwartz (23) Record 44-31-6 My thoughts on this g...