Saturday, January 6, 2018

Slow Start Dooms Blues in Philly

St. Louis Blues vs Philadelphia Flyers - Game 44 Recap
Goals: Barbashev (1), Stastny (9) and Parayko (4)
Record 26-16-2
My thoughts on this game

  • The Blues definitely came out flat in this one. The "hunger" and "urgency" just wasn't there in the early going. 
  • Philadelphia scored first when Pietrangelo mishandled the puck in the corner in his own zone and then took a big hit. The puck was picked up by Scott Laughton, who sniped a shot over Jake Allen's right shoulder on the short side. 
  • They went up 2-0 a few minutes later when Claude Giroux led a 2 on 1 break which was one of many on the day. His attempted pass over a sliding Colton Parayko hit big #55 in the rear end and went into the goal. Jake was shifting to defend against a shot from the other side and the fluke play went past him and there was really nothing he could do.
  • The Blues were outshot 16-7 in the first period and didn't even manage a shot on goal until the 8:04 mark of the period. 
  • Philly added 2 more goals in the 2nd period to take a 4-0 lead. The first one was a straight forward power/speed move by Jordan Weal. He skated up the right side of the ice and into the offensive zone.  He just beat the defender to the goal and made a quick power move across the face of the goal and it was so fast that all he had to do was touch the puck to get it past Allen, who was left a little flat-footed by the move.
  • The 4th Flyers goal was another 2 on 1 break with a perfect pinpoint pass that hit Sean Couturier's tape as he tipped it into the net. 
  • There's been a lot of chatter about who is the better goalie on this team. If you just look at goals allowed you might have a case for why Jake Allen isn't the guy.  But, if you really analyze what leads to the goals and look at how the Blues have played recently in front of him, it wouldn't matter if you had both goaltenders in the net at the same time. Nobody can stop every shot when he's outmanned and staring point blank at shooters of the puck with no defense.
  • Ivan Barbashev built on his solid play of late by getting the Blues on the scoreboard at the 14:56 mark of the 2nd period.  It was his first goal of the season and was a nice backhand from a sharp angle over the former Blue, Brian Elliott.
  • The Blues were once again outshot in the 2nd period 13-9.
  • The third period started better when Tarasenko led a rush and passed to Stastny for a goal just :12 seconds after the puck was dropped. As poorly as they had played up to this point, it was now just a 4-2 game and seemed like their might be a chance to pull this one out.
  • Those dreams were squashed as Philadelphia kept things under control for the next 10 minutes of the game and then added another goal on a power play when Wayne Simmonds got his stick on a shot and redirected it past Jake. 5-3 Philadelphia.
  • St. Louis pulled the goalie with over 5 minutes remaining. What else did we have to lose? It paid off as Colton Parayko got his 4th goal of the season with a shot from the blue line.  This time, it wasn't a 100+ mph slap shot but was a nice wrist shot that got through. Elliott never saw it. 
  • Once the Blues gained possession again, they pulled Jake and proceeded to lose the puck. It was almost comical as Philly got the puck into the offensive zone and missed the open net several times.  It took them almost 2 minutes to score into the open net. It was almost easier for them when our goalie was in net. (Just the way it went today for us, that is not an indictment on Jake-see comments above)
  • They did finally get an empty netter which accounted for the final of 6-3.
  • Philly dominated this game. St. Louis didn't show up ready to play. They managed an abundance of shots on goal in the third but were outshot in the first two periods 29-16. We lost 60% of the faceoffs. We took 4 penalties and only had 1 power play opportunity.
  • We seem to take a lot of shots that don't get to the net or don't hit the net.  Brett Hull talked about that recently in an interview and seemed to be sending a message that I wish we could put into play. Shots that aren't on goal usually don't go in.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

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