Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blues Drop 7th Straight

St. Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild - Game 64 Recap
Goals: Tarasenko (25,26) and Pietrangelo (10)
Record 34-26-4
My Thoughts on this Game

  • Not much positive to talk about in this one other than the fact that we broke our scoreless streak of 140+ minutes. But, not until Minnesota had a 2 goal lead. They scored just 2:57 into the game when Sobotka was called for holding at the 2:51 mark. 6 seconds later, the Blues had given up the first goal of the game and it would only be a sign of things to come as the Wild poured it on.
  • They added a 2nd goal at the 7:13 mark on a tip-in. The first goal was also a tip-in. Their third goal was a deflection in front of the net. These are the kind of goals that other teams seem to get that we can't get because of a lack of net-front presence most of the time on our part.
  • Tarasenko scored at the 9:59 mark from Schenn and Steen to cut the score to 2-1, but the lead was extended just 1:18 seconds later. Another goal after a goal which has also been somewhat of a theme at times this season.
  • Pietrangelo made things interesting again just 15 seconds into the 2nd after a perfect pass from Schwartz on an offensive rush. Petro was right in front, skating hard and Schwartz hit his tape and Dubnyk was helpless. The score was 3-2.
  • Minnesota scored the next 2 goals before Tarasenko added his 2nd of the game at the 18:32 mark. Again, the Wild scored just 1:12 later to make the socre 6-3 at the end of the 2nd.
  • In the third period, Eric Staal scored his 2nd goal. Fans thought it was his 3rd and littered the ice with hats. An early goal that was initially credited to him had been changed so most didn't realize that it wasn't a hat trick. 
  • After the hats were collected, it seems that the hockey gods were smiling on Staal as he scored again just 3 minutes later for his 14th hat trick of his career. He now is among the league leaders in goals for the season with 33.
  • The Blues didn't look good at all. After the trade deadline deal which saw Paul Stastny traded away, this team needed to rally together and stop the losing skid. They also are still in a hunt for a playoff spot and desperately needed to right the ship.
  • It was so bad for the boys that Minnesota coach, Bruce Boudreau pulled his main power play unit late in the third and allowed some other guys to have a chance. A respectful move on his part to not run up the score even more.
  • Coach Yeo finally called out some players by name after this one. A rare move by a head coach but, in my opinion, something that was long overdue. Rumors of discord in the Blues locker room over certain players not giving it their all and being divided over this and that all need to be set aside. Everyone needs to get back to playing hard every game, every minute and playing for each other. 
  • Jake Allen started this game and gave up 3 goals on just 8 shots. Hutton played the final two periods and allowed 5 goals on 25 shots. However, as I've felt all season, this team's main issue isn't a goaltending issue. It's a team issue.
  • Another chance to stop the losing streak tomorrow night at home against the Red Wings.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Six Straight Losses for Blues

St. Louis Blues vs Nashville Predators - Game 63 Recap
Goals: none
Record 34-25-4
My Thoughts on the game

  • For the first time this year, the Blues were shutout in consecutive games, losing in Nashville by a score of 4-0. 
  • With the addition of Nikita Soshnikov in a trade from Toronto and the recent call-up of Tage Thompson and Jordan Schmaltz, Coach Mike Yeo made some changes to the lineup in hopes of finding a solution to their recent losing streak. 
  • The forward lines for this one were:
    • Soshnikov-Berglund-Steen
    • Sobotka-Jaskin-Brodziak
    • Schwartz-Schenn-Thompson
    • Tarasenko-Stastny-Barbashev
  • The D-men pairings were:
    • Bouwmeester-Parayko
    • Gunnarsson-Pietrangelo
    • Dunn-Schmaltz
  • Healthy scratches for this one were:
    • Upshall, Sundqvist, & Thorburn
  • Defenseman Chris Butler was sent back down to San Antonio along with Blais.
  • The game started with a hooking penalty on Gunnarsson at 2:58. With Nashville's power play at 29.5% at home and good for first in the NHL, it's not the ideal way to start the game.
  • Nashville capitalized near the end of the power play at the 4:45 mark when Kyle Turris entered the offensive zone virtually unhindered and found a wide open Colton Sissons on the right wing. Sissons' wrist shot from the face-off dot beat Jake Allen high on his glove side. Jake seemed to be going down too soon and was beaten high more than once today.
  • St. Louis had a power play opportunity of their own after a goalie interference call on Nashville at the 8:41 mark.  The Blues had a couple of chances when Schwartz' shot created a rebound, but as has been the case most of the season, nobody was in front of the net to clean up the rebound. Many people have talked about it throughout this season, but it's definitely one of the things that need to be fixed with this team. They've got to find someone who is willing to get in front and get some of those 'dirty goals' that everyone talks about. In 63 games this season, nobody has shown the willingness to be that guy so it would seem that he would need to be a piece that Doug Armstrong should be looking for in the offseason.
  • Conversely, it seemed that every time Nashville set up shop in the offensive zone, someone was going to the front of the net and staying there. 
  • Tarasenko made a nice pass to Steen in front of the net, but it didn't create anything more than a player pileup and a bit of a scrum afterward.
  • Afer the power play failed, the Blues kept the puck in the Nashville end for some time and caused several icing calls on the Predators, but again failed to capitalize on what one would think were some tired skaters.
  • Nashville scored again at the 14:21 mark of the period on a counter-attack that looked like it might be a 2 on 1 rush. Jay Bouwmeester was back on defense and seemed confused and possibly just didn't realize that Brayden Schenn was back and in position to defend the weak side. Bouwmeester was playing the pass and didn't commit to the guy with the puck which basically created a one-on-one with Kevin Fiala and Jake Allen. Fiala beat Jake top shelf on his blocker side. 
  • Nashville outshot St. Louis 16-9 in the first. 
  • It didn't take long for things to get worse once the 2nd period began. 1:20 into the period Nashville's offensive pressure led to their 3rd goal when a pass from Jarnkrok to Hartnell, who was camped out in front of the goal, hit Hartnell's skate and went in. It was no accident. It was a good play. Hartnell turned his skate perpendicular to where the puck was and Jarnkrok centered the pass and hit the skate perfectly. Again, the difference was guys in front of the net and our guys weren't close enough to him to do anything about it.
  • Why do we not have someone who is willing to create havoc in front?! And why do we let the other teams do it to us? I can remember when you paid a heavy price if you tried to stand in front of the goal. What has changed?
  • Nashville added another goal late in the 2nd, and as if a 4-0 lead wasn't embarrassing enough, it was a short-handed goal. 
  • It was not pretty as the Blues were shutout in back to back games for the first time since the end of the 2013-14 season. 
  • Bright spots:
    • Tage Thompson looked good in his first game back. He was looking for his shot and put a couple on the net. 
    • Nikita Soshnikov played well for his first time on the ice with his new teammates. He showed some speed and had a couple of hits and a couple of shots. 
    • Jordan Schmaltz was solid in this first game back. He had 12:37 of ice time and was not on the ice for any of the 4 goals.
  • Frustrations:
    • As I've stated a couple of times already, nobody in front of the net. Even when we get a shot on goal and a rebound, we rarely have anyone even close enough to even sniff the rebound, let alone get a stick on it for a shot.
    • We seem to have a hard time gaining the offensive zone. Opponents seem to just line up at the blue line and stand up against us and we don't have an answer for getting the puck into the offensive zone.
  • There is still time to make the playoffs, but things have to change soon. If not, then we should at least get to see some of the prospects up at the end of the year and get a glimpse of what the future holds. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Blues Drop 5th Straight With 4-0 Loss at Home

Winnipeg Jets vs St. Louis Blues - Game 62 Recap
Goals: none
Record 34-24-4
My Thoughts on the Game

  • The Blues, fighting for a playoff spot, desperately needed a win to bounce back from their previous three straight losses. Their opponent, the Winnipeg Jets had lots of reasons to not let that happen. St. Louis had beaten them in Winnipeg 2 weeks earlier by a score of 5-2. They were coming off a loss in their previous game in LA, and they are battling for the top spot in the Central Division.
  •  The Blues tested goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck early in the game. Schenn had two open looks in front of the net, Sobotka had an open shot and Brodziak had two chances. 
  • At the 3:19 mark, Scottie Upshall drew an interference penalty on Winnipeg which sent the Blues onto the power play. They managed some pressure, but couldn't score. Schwartz, Sobotka, and Dunn all put shots on goal during the man advantage.
  • The shots on goal were 6-0 in the early going in favor of the Blues.
  • However, the ice would tilt the other direction and boy did it tilt quickly! 
  • St. Louis gave away the puck in the defensive zone and Winnipeg's Nic Petan scored on the back side after a pass went between Vince Dunn's skates in front of the net. Jets 1 Blues 0 at the 10:03 mark.
  • 45 seconds later, Blake Wheeler scored from the right wing near the face-off dot over the right shoulder of Allen to make the score 2-0. The photo shows Darren Pang's illustration as to Jake's positioning on the play.  He was out of position, too far to the left of the goal and left too much room on his right side and Wheeler found the top corner easily.
  • St. Louis mounted some offensive pressure late in the period but couldn't manage a goal. Thorburn was whistled for a hooking call at the 17:43 mark of the period, killing any momentum that the Blues had gathered.
  • Winnipeg capitalized with a 3rd goal at the 18:31 mark of the period with a power-play goal by Kyle Connor. The goal came on a rebound that St. Louis couldn't get to.
  • Patrik Laine added a 4th goal 6:04 into the 2nd period. Laine's goal was similar to the goal by Wheeler. He came up the right wing and beat Jake over his right shoulder in the far upper corner of the net. 
  • The Blues became timid after the 4th goal. Their forecheck disappeared. It seemed like they were worried about getting beat on the other end and were afraid to attack. 
  • St. Louis outshot Winnipeg 34-23 and won 67% of the face-offs, but were still shutout. 
  • Things don't get any easier as the Blues travel to Nashville to face the Predators in an 11 AM game this Sunday.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blues Drop 4th Straight, Lose 3-2 to San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues - Game 61 Recap
Goals: Barbashev (4) and Tarasenko (24)
Record 34-23-4
My thoughts on the game

  • Although it's the last week of February, this was the first matchup with the San Jose Sharks on the season. The Blues come into the game having lost their last 3 games and posting a record of 3-4-1 in the month of February and find themselves teetering on the edge of making or missing the playoffs.
  • The Sharks, on the other hand, are 6-3 in February and sit in 2nd place in the Pacific Division only trailing the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Some lineup changes for the Blues included Sammy Blais being inserted on the Schenn, Schwartz line and Chris Butler paired on defense with Vince Dunn. Scratches include Sobotka who was sick, Thorburn and Bortuzzo who was shaken up a little in the Dallas game last Friday.
  • Hutton got the start in goal and is still among the league leaders with a 1.81 GAA and .940 save percentage. His record is 15-5-2.
  • Early in this one, Parayko gave up the puck in the defensive zone after he was trapped with little support. 
  • The Sharks had a nice scoring chance but Hutton made a nice save to start the game. He got some nice help from Kyle Brodziak who got back and managed to get his stick on the stick of the Sharks player to keep him from getting much on the shot. 
  • Brodziak is a player who doesn't get enough credit! Playing on the 3rd and 4th lines most of the year he may not stand out all of the time, but he's getting more ice time late in the games. He's gritty and makes a lot of good plays and he's good in the face-off circle. He's an underrated player on this team.  I certainly hope he is with the Blues again next year.
  • Both teams had power-play opportunities in the first, but neither could capitalize.  
  • Sammy Blais left the game with 1:30 left on the clock in the first period and never returned. They said later that he had concussion symptoms. It was a tough break as he was brought up to play on the 2nd line to add some offensive punch. He seemed to have found it down in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage with nearly a point per game average. Hopefully, he'll be back soon and can add some offense to this team.
  • The Sharks drew first blood on a power-play goal in the 2nd. Hutton gave up a rebound that laid in front of his left pad. Logan Couture pulled it away from him and lifted it over the sprawling Hutton.
  • Less than two minutes later, the Blues found the equalizer goal when Brodziak found the puck at center ice and passed to a streaking Barbashev open on the right side. Ivan took the puck, skated a couple of strides into the offensive zone and placed a perfect wrist shot over the glove of Martin Jones.
  • As has been the case a lot of times this season, the Blues seemed to let their guard down after scoring. They were sloppy with the puck and gave it away several times which led to some odd-man rushes by San Jose.
  • The first one was a 3 on 2. The Sharks passed the puck well and Donskoi got behind Hutton to give them a 2-1 lead. They added another by Boedker in a similar fashion just 4 minutes later.
  • The Blues got some new life when Schwartz drew a tripping penalty inside the final :34 seconds of the period. On the power play, Vince Dunn made a really nice offensive move to create some space and his shot caused a rebound that fell in front of our favorite sniper on the right wing. Vladimir Tarasenko let one rip that nobody was going to stop drawing the Blues back to within one just 10 seconds into the power play.
  • St. Louis was 1 for 3 with the man advantage. They held San Jose scoreless on the other side of special teams. The Sharks special teams have been strong this season.  They are the only team in the league in the top five in both power play and penalty kill.  In this game, the Blues won the special teams game.
  • The Blues also outshot the Sharks 33-23. We outhit them 26-13. We had 12 takeaways to their 7.  But, a little stat that was a big factor was giveaways. San Jose only had 2 while we chalked up 6, two of which led directly to goals.
  • The final period saw the Blues have some chances. They just couldn't get it past Jones. A bouncing puck in the final minutes got past him and hit the post, but it never got farther than the goal line as defenseman Brent Burns found it and cleared it before it could cross the line and tie the game.
  • More divisional games are on the horizon with Winnipeg in town on Friday, back to Nashville on Sunday and up to Minnesota on Tuesday. The playoff race is tight. The trade deadline is approaching. It will be interesting to see how this next week plays out and then what happens in the final month. It's crunch time. Let's go Blues!
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blues Drop 3rd Straight, Fall to Wildcard Spot in Playoff Race

St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars - Game 60 Recap
Goal: Schenn (24)
Record 34-22-4
My thoughts on the game

  • Unlike the other two losses this week, there wasn't any point in this game where you could say that the Blues "just fell apart". A couple of costly mistakes late against Pittsburgh cost them a game at home on Sunday, and a complete letdown in the final period in Nashville on Tuesday, giving up a 3 goal lead were troubling, to say the least. But in this one, they played a solid game from start to finish.
  • So, why didn't they win? Did our goalie give up soft goals? No. Did the team fail to put forth a solid effort for 60 minutes? No. The answer simply was, a lack of offense. 
  • 1 goal isn't going to win many games in the NHL. In fact, there have been 892 games played thus far in the 2017-18 season. There have been 97 shutouts. Do you know how many of those games ended with a score of 1-0? Well, you'll have to read to the end to find the answer, but I'll give you a clue.... it doesn't happen very often.
  • The Blues played a solid first period and seemed to control the puck for more of the period than did Dallas. However, most of the time spent in the offensive end of the ice was mostly spent on perimeter passing, looking for openings and shooting lanes, but Dallas did well to clog the middle of the ice.  
  • St. Louis had two power-play opportunities, and had 2 or 3 good shots but couldn't convert against St. Louis native, Ben Bishop. Tarasenko had a great shot on goal during the first one and then during the second one, Schwartz had a good chance and Tarasenko hit the post on another shot.
  • Dallas had one power-play in the period and the Blues held them without a shot on goal. In fact, the Blues outshot Dallas 8-3 in the period.
  • The 2nd period started with an inadvertent tripping call on Parayko who rarely ever sees time in the penalty box. The 6'6" 230 lb defenseman has played 1,361 minutes this season and has only had 13 minutes in penalties. 
  • Dallas has been successful just over 20% on the season when having the man advantage. They capitalized on this opportunity but only due to some blind luck. A shot taken from along the left boards was several feet wide of the net but was square on the right shinpad of Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. The puck ricocheted into the net behind Allen to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
  • St. Louis again outshot Dallas in the period with 12 shots on goal to the Stars' 7, but couldn't find the net. Schwartz hit the crossbar, Schenn made a nice move to get in front of Bishop but couldn't finish. Tarasenko had a good open look and Schenn had another chance at a tip-in goal but all were stopped by Bishop.  He was good in net tonight.
  • My first note in the 3rd period was "hit the net with your shots". I get frustrated when they stand out on the blue line and take the big shots and can't get it on net. 85 MPH on goal seems better to me than 100 MPH and 3 feet wide or high. Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking a shot on goal might produce a rebound.
  • Dallas got another power play a third of the way into the period. St. Louis killed it off. But soon thereafter Stephen Johns took a puck that was bouncing off the right boards and wound up for a big slapper. Alex Radulov was screening Jake Allen in front and the puck was perfectly placed, beating Jake on the short side just inside the post. Dallas led 2-0.
  • Pietrangelo had a nice rebound fall on his stick and a wide open net to put it into, but again Bishop came up with a save.
  • Dallas was whistled for high sticking when Sobotka took a blade to the face. The contact drew blood, resulting in a double minor with just over 4 minutes to play. I saw a St. Louis fan doing the power play dance behind the Blues bench! As much as I have a personal dislike for the "dance", I had to chuckle seeing it in the big D.
  • Steen had the first good scoring chance on the 4-minute power play with an open net but one of Dallas' D-men mad a nice block.
  • With 1:44 left in the game and 1:26 left in the power play, Yeo pulled Allen for the extra attacker. With the 6 on 4 advantage, some nice passing by Tarasenko and Schwartz found Brayden Schenn on the back side for an easy tip-in goal to cut it to just a one-goal game with 1:14 remaining.
  • St. Louis kept the puck in the offensive zone and managed to earn 5 face-offs in front of Bishop, but just couldn't find an opening for the goal they needed. They lost 3 of those 5 face-offs which minimized their control of the puck in crunch time. 
  • The Blues outshot Dallas 29-16 on the night but only scored the 1 goal.
  • The loss drops St. Louis into a wild-card spot for the first time all season. They still have 3 games against divisional opponents remaining this month, so there are still chances to stay in the race.
  • Are you still with me? Remember the question about how many times teams have won games this season with just one goal? Well, the answer is 12. Of the 97 shutouts this season by goalies in the NHL, only 12 times have they been 1-0 shutouts, 6 times by Eastern Conference teams, and 6 times by Western Conference teams. To answer the question, only 1.345% of the games have been won with just 1 goal. On average, only 1 game per season, per team. We need to find a way to score goals if we are going to win.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blues Give Up 3 in 3rd Period, Fall 4-3 in OT

St. Louis Blues vs Nashville Predators - Game 59 Recap
Goals: Bouwmeester (2), Steen (13) and Schwartz (18)
Record 34-21-4
My Thoughts on the Game

  • Did you ever wish you could "unsee" something that you just saw? Did you ever wish you could rewind the clock for just 20 minutes? Well, after this game, that's what every Blues fan, player, and coach would certainly be wishing for.
  • If I couldn't sleep after what I just watched, I can't imagine how the players and coaches felt. I doubt that anyone anywhere in Blues Nation got a good night's sleep after the debacle that was the third period in Nashville last night.
  • Nashville came out aggressive, hitting hard and it looked like it would be exactly what you would expect in their place, a tough game. A few minutes into the game, the Blues settled into their game and I was able to settle into my spot on the coach as it felt like we were going to give them a good game.
  • Tarasenko had a blazing wrist shot that went off the mask of Pekka Rinne after a nice move by Stastny to gain the offensive zone which may have rattled him a little bit. Rinne has played a lot of games and has been among the league's best this season.  He also has been pretty tough on the Blues, so we needed to find a way to get to him.
  • Defenseman Vince Dunn was called for holding at the 8:47 mark, but the Blues PK was solid and didn't allow a shot on goal by the Preds. 
  • The Blues continued to put on pressure and had a couple of chances. One rush ended with the puck on top of the net behind Rinne and could have easily gone in. Another shot by Tarasenko ended up under the pad of Rinne, but he wasn't sure where it was so it could have easily slipped into the net.
  • The offensive chances finally produced fruit at the 15:18 mark of the period. As the Blues were leaving the defensive zone with the puck, Patrik Berglund was tripped and drew a delayed penalty. The puck went to Jay Bouwmeester who was in some space on the left side. He crossed the blue line and let one fly from the top of the circle, beating Rinne short side over the blocker to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
  • Another solid performance of the penalty kill in the final minutes of the period held Nashville to 2 shots on goal while Gunnarsson served a 2-minute penalty for a high stick.
  • Hutton saved a potential tying goal late in the period on a point-blank shot from the high slot and kept Nashville off the board in the first.
  • The 2nd period was ALL St. Louis! They scored at the 3:10 mark on an offensive rush that started with Tarasenko passing to Stastny who flipped a backhander at the goal. Rinne made a pad save, but the rebound came out in front of Alexander Steen who had gained some space on his man, and he stuffed it in over Rinne's shoulder for a 2-0 lead. 
  • The Blues' offensive pressure was relentless as they just kept coming, wave after wave in the Nashville end of the ice. A nice move by Pietrangelo to get through the defense and then a pass to Berglund, then to Schwartz and back to Berglund nearly led to another goal as Berglund's backhander hit the right post AND the crossbar but somehow stayed out of the net.
  • Nashville tripped Schenn at the 7:47 mark and the Blues capitalized near the end of the power play when Jaden Schwartz poked home the rebound of a Steen shot on goal. Schwartz looked like he was playing 'wack a mole' as he fought to get the puck in the net, taking three wacks at it before it finally crossed the line. I couldn't believe it. It was 3-0.
  • Nashville didn't even get a shot on goal in that period until almost 14 minutes in. They were then whistled for too many men on the ice near the end of a St. Louis penalty to give the Blues another power play opportunity. The referee explained it as "Six men and a goaler" on the ice. 
  • A shot on net by Dunn and then a scrum in front of the net that ended with 3 or 4 bodies on the ice looked like the Blues might add another but Nashville managed to hold on. They were outshot in the 2nd period 16-3 by the Blues.
  • I had just made a note that our top three lines were continuing the offensive pressure in the third when all hell broke loose. 
  • Nashville scored on a rebound in front of Hutton when Calle Jarnkrok was first to the puck, cutting the lead to 3-1 at the 9:06 mark of the period. 
  • They picked up a short-handed goal at 14:33 and tied the game at the 15:48 mark. Their fans were going nuts. It definitely sounds like a hostile environment and they helped tilt the ice back in the direction of the home team.
  • In overtime, Vladi had a shot on goal but Nashville countered and at the 1:19 mark Schwartz was called for tripping on a breakaway by Filip Forsberg and a penalty shot was given. Forsberg beat Hutton and the comeback was complete.
  • The Blues have outscored their opponents 10-3 in the last 4 games in the second period. They have definitely owned it lately. But the three goals tonight was not enough, as Nashville made a great comeback.
  • I have no idea where to place the blame. I think only the coaches and players can know what happened last night that caused this disappointing collapse. You would think that a 3 goal lead with 11 minutes left could be protected and would be enough to get the win. However, it was not. 
  • Nobody has time to hang their heads, another division opponent awaits in Dallas. The Blues will be facing their old coach, Ken Hitchcock and sit just 2 points back of St. Louis with 2 games in hand. Every game is important. Valuable points are at stake. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Blues Fall to Penguins 4-1

Pittsburgh Penguins vs St. Louis Blues - Game 58 Recap
Goal: Brodziak (9)
Record 34-21-3
My thoughts on the game

  • Coming off two big wins earlier this week in back to back nights, another tough test for the Blues rolled into town for an early start on this Mardi Gras weekend. The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins were in town along with former Blue, Ryan Reaves who was making his first appearance back in St. Louis after being traded to Pittsburgh in the offseason.
  • The Blues gave a short video tribute early in the first period recognizing Reaves' time with the club. The St. Louis fans gave him a nice ovation.
  • Things didn't look too bad for the first 23 minutes of the game. St. Louis outshot Pittsurgh in the first period 10-7. Both teams had a few scoring chances, but Jake Allen and Matt Murray were solid to start the game.
  • 3 Minutes and 10 seconds into the 2nd period, Kyle Brodziak led a 2 on 1 break with Chris Thorburn. Brodziak waited until the last possible moment to pass the puck and Thorburn wasn't able to get it into the opening of the net. He did, however manage to center the puck back in front to the stick of Brodziak, who punched it home for a 1-0 Blues lead.
  • The towel man hadn't even thrown out the towel yet when Sidney Crosby tied the score exactly 21 seconds later. Crosby got the puck in the corner and from the goal line shot the puck at Allen. Jake was hugging the right post, but somehow the puck didn't stay where Jake thought it was and it trickled into the net.  It was Crosby's 400th goal of his career.
  • Tied at 1-1 was how the 2nd period would end. The Blues thought they had taken the lead early in the 3rd when Pietrangelo's shot from the point was deflected by Stastny and went in, fooling Murray. Pittsburgh challenged and the referees determined the puck was played with a high stick and took away the goal.  None of the replays that NBC showed were conclusive from what I could tell.  I'd like to see what the referees saw that we couldn't see. 
  • For the most part, the Blues did a good job of containing the high-powered offense of Pittsburgh, keeping them mostly to the outside of the ice. The game was much closer than the score would indicate. As Coach Yeo said, this was a game that would come down to a mistake or two and an opportunity for one team or the other to capitalize. 
  • The first mistake came at the expense of the home team. Vince Dunn gave up the puck at his own blue line and Bryan Rust raced in on Allen and beat him through the five hole to take a 2-1 lead. The momentum had shifted.
  • The Blues were the benefactor of the next break and were given a power play opportunity when Reaves was called for hooking on Gunnarsson. Murray made an outstanding glove save on a rocket off the stick of Tarasenko to keep the big Russian from tying the game.
  • Shortly after the big save, the Penguins cleared the puck and while retrieving it, Vince Dunn was absolutely mugged back in the Blues defensive zone. Watching the replay, Rust grabbed his jersey from behind and then jammed his stick in between his skates and tripped him. No damage came from the play, but if the obvious penalty had been called it would have given the Blues a 5 on 3 advantage. (I think we are 0 for 7 on the 5 on 3 for the season, so it may not have mattered, but hey! we are bound to break that streak sooner or later. It could have been today)
  • The Blues hung in the game until midway through the third but made another mistake in their own end. This time it wasn't a rookie defenseman, but rather the captain, Alex Pietrangelo. Petro got his pocket picked behind his own goal and the Penguins capitalized with a centering pass and a wide open shot from close range that Jake couldn't stop. Pittsburgh 3, St Louis 1.
  • Playing catch up, the Blues pulled Allen for an extra attacker but quickly gave up an empty net goal to Crosby for the final score of 4-1. 
  • Some random thoughts and observations:
    • Tarasenko played with more confidence again today. Amazing what a couple of goals will do for a guy.
    • Bortuzzo played a very physical game today. He had some solid hits. 
    • We turned the puck over too much today. 
    • Pittsburgh sort of outplayed us at our own game. They were beating us to pucks and winning one-on-one battles more often than us and poke checking, fore checking and just a menace all day.
    • As Taylor Swift says, "Haters gonna hate" and I'm sure there are those who are blaming Jake for this loss. I'll say this. 1 goal isn't going to beat the defending Stanley Cup Champs too often, and you can't give guys one on one opportunities right in front of your goaltender and expect him to be able to save them all. 
    • The first goal by Crosby was "soft" on Jakes part, but you're talking about arguably the best player on the planet right now who can find a hole where most guys can't even imagine a hole. We just had a couple of mistakes and the Penguins made us pay.
  • On to Nashville Tuesday and Dallas on Friday. Luckily, Winnipeg lost today and so did Dallas so we didn't lose any ground.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Blues 5-2 Winners in Winnipeg

St. Louis Blues vs Winnipeg Jets - Game 57 Recap
Goals: Tarasenko (22,23), Berglund (8), Steen (12) and Schwartz (17)
Record 34-20-3
My thoughts on the game
  • One night earlier, with the Avalanche in town, the Blues showed similar form as they had at the start of the season. Because of what we've seen at other times this year, we wondered what would happen at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada against a red-hot Jets team.
  • Would it be a drop off and loss to a Division opponent ahead of us in the standings who is in the middle of a 10 game homestand and who hadn't lost at home since Dec. 14th, or would the Blues continue to play like they did on Thursday night against Colorado?
  • The score indicates the latter. It was a good night for Blues fans. Here's how we saw it unfold.
  • The first period was scoreless but only due to some big saves by Jake Allen, who earned the start on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, along with some strong defensive play by the Blues.
  • St. Louis' best chance came on a power play early in the game when some good puck movement set up Vladi Sobotka in close to the net and Connor Hellebuyck out of position, or so it seemed. Hellebuyck stretched back to the open side of the net and blocked Sobotka's shot with his right skate. 
  • The Jets' best chance was spoiled by Robert Bortuzzo, who lifted the stick of a Jets player who had a wide open net on the back side of Jake Allen. The pass slid harmlessly across the crease and into the corner. Bortuzzo's timing was perfect and I only saw it by rewinding and watching in slow motion.
  • For the second night in a row, someone was careless with the puck in front of our own goal as Carl Gunnarsson fanned on a pass and gave the puck away, creating a one-on-one but Jake made the save to keep the Jets off the board in the first.
  • The Blues held Winnipeg to just 5 shots on goal in the first period, while managing 9 of their own.
  • For the second night in a row, the Blues exploded in the 2nd period. Having scored 4 goals one night earlier in the middle frame, they put 3 in the net tonight.
  • It all started with what must be the most frustrating thing to opposing teams...the St. Louis Blues forecheck. When they get it going opponents must feel like they've been attacked by a swarm of hornets. They are relentless and just keep coming and the only relief from it is to give up the puck and let the Blues have it.
  • The first goal was scored by Tarasenko at the 4:18 mark, his first in 7 games. It was good to see him get one in the net after having played what Mike Yeo said was his best game in a month the night before. 
  • The play started with Schenn outworking someone and stealing the puck along the boards, then Steen out-hustled and outsmarted another Jets player in the corner for the puck. His pass to Tarasenko was barely ever on the tape of Vladi's stick before it was on its way to the back of the net. It was a beautiful sniper goal.
  • On the Jets' next offensive push, a shot from the point was redirected by Kyle Connor but Jake came up with a brilliant glove save to keep it out of the net.
  • The Blues turned up the offensive heat midway through the period as Barbashev found himself all alone in front. He was probably already celebrating in his mind, but Hellebuyck managed to get his glove on the puck and it sailed high. 
  • However, the offensive pressure led to a nice redirect tip by Patrik Berglund from the high slot that beat the goalie high on the stick side at the 10:13 mark.
  • 1 minute and 27 seconds later Alexander Steen slapped home a rebound for his 12th goal of the season. This goal was a direct result of the forechecking. It was 3-0 St. Louis.
  • The Jets got a goal late in the period. A shot that was wide of the net hit Vince Dunn in the leg and went in to close the gap to 3-1.
  • The Blues were whistled for 3 penalties in the third period as Winnipeg turned up their offensive attack. You can't give the Jets power plays and win very many games. They have a 24% success rate on the season, good for 2nd in the NHL.
  • Jake prevented a goal on their first power play with a nice save. We also managed to make it through the second one without giving them a goal.  The penalty kill was 5 for 5 the night before, only allowing 1 shot on goal by Colorado in 5 power plays.
  • The good fortune wouldn't last all night, though. On their 3rd power play, a shot was blocked by Pietrangelo and broke his stick. Moments later the Jets' sniper, Patrik Laine's slap shot beat everyone to make it a 3-2 game. The building suddenly had some energy.
  • It didn't last long, though as Tarasenko got his 2nd goal of the game just 1 minute and 6 seconds later. Bouwmeester's shot caromed off the boards behind the net and came out on the other side. Vladi raced to the puck and from an almost impossible angle nearly on the goal line, put it over the crouching goaltender to make it 4-2. 
  • Schwartz would add an empty net goal as the Blues were a man down and Winnipeg had pulled the goalie, so it was a 6 on 4 shorthanded goal.
  • The Blues only allowed 22 shots on goal. They played well in front of Jake and he had a good game with some nice saves on a good offensive team. He became the 3rd winningest goalie in Blues history with 109 wins, passing Grant Fuhr.
  • This team seems to have pulled it together after a disappointing effort at home on Tuesday. The Division race is tight. The Conference race is tight. Things don't get any easier. Two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions will be in town Sunday and then it's road games in Nashville on Tuesday and Dallas on Friday. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, February 9, 2018

Blues Bounce Back With 6-1 Win Over Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues - Game 56 Recap
Goals: Schenn (22, 23), Barbashev (3), Brodziak (8), Pietrangelo (9) and Stastny (12)
Record 33-20-3
My thoughts on the game

  • First of all, I attended this game. I didn't sit in my usual seats 27 rows from the ice. I bought a ticket down close and sat 3 rows over the shoulder of Kelly Chase and Darren Pang. My biggest takeaway from being so close was how fast things move and how little space there is out there on the ice.
  • For these guys to skate as fast as they do, move the puck around the way they do and manage to put it in the net with a guy defending with giant pads on is totally amazing! To borrow a line from the PGA Tour commercials, "These guys are good!"
  • To the game...3 seconds in, Brayden Schenn dropped the gloves and went at it with Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog. I was down there at center ice watching during pre-game and taking some photos. Schenn came over and was chatting with Panger and he said something to one of the Colorado players, but I didn't pay attention to who it was.
    Photo by: Tim Hirsch
    I'm not sure if this fight was due to something that was said there or something that carried over from the last time Colorado was in town a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it was just to get guys fired up. Whatever the reason, it definitely raised the level of emotion in the building right off the hop.
  • Both guys got 5 minutes for fighting. Schenn wasted no time after he escaped the penalty box, scoring a power play goal 3:38 seconds later at the 8:41 mark to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. 
  • The play started with Dunn's pass to Schwartz who one-timed it on goal. The pad save bounced out in front and Schenn was there to put it in the net. It was his 300th career NHL point. 
  • Colorado tied the game 2 minutes and 50 seconds into the 2nd period on an unassisted goal by Gabriel Borque. Side note: He's in his 2nd season with the Avalanche but his profile picture on the NHL app still has him in a Predators jersey. The goal came when Vladi Sobotka mishandled a puck and turned it over at his own blue line. Borque skated in alone on Hutton and beat him with a wrist shot high on the blocker side.
  • The Blues didn't lay down and die, though.  In fact, they added 4 more goals in the 2nd period to take a 5-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. 
  • Barbashev scored his 3rd goal of the season at the 4:17 mark on a shot from the left wall, below the face off dot at an unlikely angle. His shot hit the goalie in the shoulder and bounced in, just under the crossbar. Parayko and Upshall assisted on the goal.
  • The goal ignited the Blues offense as they were like sharks who smelled blood in the water. Schenn added his 2nd goal on the night just 48 seconds later, and Kyle Brodziak added another 2 minutes and 33 seconds later. Pietrangelo's goal at the 15:01 mark finished off the 2nd period onslaught and was a beautiful 'one-timer' after a perfect pass from Vince Dunn. 
  • Dunn had 3 assists on the night. The rookie defenseman is proving to be one heck of a hockey player! 
  • The scoring was capped off by a Stastny goal at the 6 minute mark of the third period and it was a goal that just came from some gritty, hard work in front of the net. It's something that's been missing most of the season and it was great to see. Steen and Stastny were both in front causing havoc and when the rebound came off, Tarasenko was fighting to get to it as well.
  • 13 different Blues notched points in this game. Vladi Tarasenko was not one of them, but I thought his effort was there last night. He stepped in and was whistled for roughing when someone took a hard shot at a teammate. I know he wants to score goals, but it's good to see him doing some of the little things that help win hockey games too.
  • Joel Edmundson left the game in the first period after taking a puck off the forearm. The Blues announced that it was broken. He had successful surgery and will be reevaluated in 6 weeks. Given that time frame, he will miss around 15 games and will return about 2 weeks before the end of the regular season. The Blues have called up St. Louis native, Chris Butler from the San Antonio Rampage to fill the roster spot. Butler has 8 goals and 15 assists in 47 games with the Rampage this season.
  • Looking at the stat sheet, St. Louis dominated this game. 
    • They only allowed 24 shots on goal. Carter Hutton stopped 23 of those and improved his record to 15-5-1. 
    • The won 63% of the faceoffs.
    • Power play was 1 for 2. 
    • Penalty kill was perfect, killing off all 5.
    • They had 14 takeaways, compared to Colorado's 3. 
  • It was a solid performance. Let's hope they can repeat that tonight in Winnipeg against the Division-leading Jets. 
  • The Jets are led by Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifle, who will return to the lineup after being out since Dec 27th with an upper body injury.
  • Winnipeg sits tied in points for the Central Division lead with Nashville at 73 points. They have 2 games in hand on the Blues, so these are valuable points at stake tonight.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Blues Struggle Mightily Against Wild, Lose 6-2

Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues - Game 55 Recap
Goals: Schwartz (16) and Jaskin (5)
Record 32-20-3
My Thoughts On The Game

  • What looked like it would be a good night for the Blues after Jaden Schwartz scored just 45 seconds after the puck drop, quickly turned into a nightmare as Minnesota was just too much for the Blues.
  • Schwartz scored his 2nd goal in his 5th game back since returning from a lower body injury. It was his 16th of the season and 37th point in just 35 games played. Parayko's big slapper from the point was stopped but wasn't covered by the Minnesota goalie, Devan Dubnyk. Schwartz found the rebound laying in front and was able to poke it through the legs of Dubnyk giving the Blues a 1-0 lead.
  • That lead would evaporate quickly as Minnesota scored at the 2:02 mark. The early lead became a distant memory when the Wild went wild and scored again at 16:53 and 18:07 of the first period to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
  • Carter Hutton allowed more goals in the first period on 8 shots than he had allowed in his last 4 starts combined. Jake Allen started the second period and finished the game. He allowed 3 goals on 12 shots. Not the kind of stats that either goalie wants to see on the stat sheet, for sure.
  • The Blues outshot the Wild in the game 37-20, but that stat is deceiving since the Blues were desperate in the end and managed 19 shots on goal in the final minutes to just 3 by Minnesota, who were playing defensive hockey and doing what they needed to do to preserve a win.
  • The Blues were 0 for 3 on the power play while Minnesota capitalized on 2 of their 3 power play chances. 
  • St. Louis won 62% of the faceoffs and outhit the Wild 25-12. So, what went wrong? If I knew the answer to that I might be working in the NHL in some capacity now instead of sitting in my basement, writing a blog about the team I love and want to see win more than any other team in sports. But, I digress.
  • St. Louis other goal came on a nice wrist shot from Dimitri Jaskin at the 12:36 mark of the third on a 2nd chance off a Parayko shot and rebound, a Jaskin backhand attempt that was stopped and then a pass from Steen back to Jaskin who didn't miss on his 2nd attempt.
  • Jaskin has been playing hard and it was good to see him get a goal, although it was too little too late for the Blues as Minnesota had added 2 more goals in the 2nd period and another earlier in the third.
  • There wasn't much positive to take out of this game. The only thing I can think to say positive about this game is that it's over. Move on. But there are things that need to get fixed. 
  • Lots of chatter out there about trades, but nobody knows what will happen. Maybe help will come in the way of a trade, maybe it won't.  
  • The schedule doesn't get any easier. Thursday, the Avalanche come to town and Friday the Blues travel to Winnipeg. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hutton, Blues and Crossbar Shutout Sabres 1-0

St. Louis Blues vs Buffalo Sabres - Game 54 Recap
Goal: Carl Gunnarsson (5)
Record 32-19-3
My thoughts on the game

  • The Blues needed to bounce back after the loss two nights prior in Boston, and not wanting to end 'The Dads Trip' without a win meant they would need a better start than they've shown in the last two games.
  • They faced a Buffalo team that has only won 6 games at home and sits dead last in the Eastern Conference, yet it took overtime back in December at Scottrade in order to beat them. This game would not be an easy two points either.
  • One reason the Sabres are not the team their record would indicate is Swedish goaltender, Robin Lehner. The 26 year old takes up a lot of space in the net at 6'4" and 245 lbs. and came into this game having stopped 88 or his last 90 shots faced in his last 3 starts for a .978 save percentage and 2 shutouts. He would be equally as tough tonight.
  • There were no goals in the first two periods, but there were chances. Kyle Brodziak may have had the best chance in the first period just 3 minutes in when he found some space in the high slot, got the puck right on his tape and got a good shot on goal. Lehner made the stop. 
  • Speedy franchise player, 21 year old Jack Eichel, fresh off his appearance in the NHL All-Star Game nearly scored when his shot hit the stick handle or possibly the knob of the stick of Carter Hutton on Buffalo's first power play opportunity in the 1st period.
  • The Blues were perfect on the penalty kill, going 4 for 4 while a man down. They also were 0 for 1 on their own power play.
  • The Blues played a lot more physical in this one and held Buffalo to just 5 shots on goal in the first period while putting 9 shots of their own on Lehner.
  • The second period was much more of the same with a little more offense by both sides. 4 minutes into the period Eichel took a shot from the top of the right circle that hit Hutton's stick and knocked it all the way to the corner. Even when the puck was cleared Hutton couldn't get to it because Buffalo regained control of the puck quickly and skating to the corner would have given them an empty net to shoot at. Vince Dunn finally gave Hutton his own stick and then helped retrieve the goalie stick and managed to switch with Hutton and avoid any damage.
  • Tarasenko had the best scoring chance when linemates Schenn and Schwartz found him skating in from the right side. The quick passing caused Lehner to be out of position as he was on the left side of the goal, leaving the right side totally open. Vladi either didn't realize the goal was so wide open or he had anticipated that the goalie would recover, so he skated across the front of the net with the puck and looked like he wanted to go to the left side. He hit some traffic and Lehner got in position and made the save. Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm sure Vladimir wishes he had that one back. He doesn't miss too many chances like that one.
  • In the third period Schenn had the puck all alone in front and got Lehner on his stomach. Schenn took the puck to his forehand to the left of Lehner and had lots of net to shoot at, but Lehner managed to make the save with his right leg or skate. Schenn couldn't get it over him.
  • Five seconds later, the puck cycled back around to Tarasenko in the high slot and his snipe shot was stopped by Lehner. Brodziak also had a good chance from in front that was stopped.
  • The only goal came from an unlikely source, defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. His career-high 5th goal of the season came after a faceoff in the St. Louis offensive zone. The puck came to Gunnarson at the left point. His shot found its way through traffic, over the right shoulder of Lehner, grazed the crossbar and into the net. It was all they needed, besides a little help from the crossbar on the net at the other end of the ice. (More on that in a second)
  • The goal by Gunnarsson, who has been a healthy scratch in 10 or so games this season (he's played 43 of 54 games) started with a faceoff win by Steen who also stayed between his faceoff opponent and Gunnarsson without getting whistled for interference. It also may not have gone in the net without Vladi Sobotka skating in front and screening Lehner. 
  • Gunnarsson, according to Coach Yeo, hasn't deserved to sit but the Blues have found themselves with depth at defense and everyone can't play every night. He's proven a lot of people wrong with his steady play on defense. He was a 7th round draft pick, selected 194th overall in the 2007 draft. He played 4 years in Toronto and is now in his 4th year in St. Louis. He is a +14 on the season and +40 for his career. 
  • 1 Goal is all it took, but it took lots of other players doing the little things to make it happen. To highlight some other things that go unmentioned, Patrik Berglund won 55% of his faceoffs in the game. Stastny won 55% of his and Brodziak won 50% of his. Alexander Steen blocked 4 shots in the game. Parayko blocked 3, Bouwmeester and Edmondson blocked 2 apiece.
  • Lastly, Carter Hutton. Where would we be without this guy? He stopped all 27 shots he faced and got his 3rd shutout of the season. His stats got even better as his GAA dropped to 1.61 and his save percentage went up to .947. He leads the ENTIRE NHL in both of those stats.
  • Hutton did get a little help from the crossbar. I don't remember the exact time of the play but in desperation to tie the game, Buffalo pulled the goalie to get an extra attacker. During some sustained pressure in the closing moments a shot got past Hutton and hit the crossbar. Unlike Gunnarsson's shot, this one deflected upward and the shutout remained. 
  • It might not seem like a lot to just score 1 goal against the team with the worst record in the East, but they had a hot goalie who played brilliantly against us. It was a game on the road in the NHL and Buffalo has some talented players. Sometimes 1 goal is all you get. And tonight it was enough.
  • 3 tough games against Division opponents this week with Minnesota on Tuesday, Colorado on Thursday, both in St. Louis, and then Winnipeg on the road on Friday. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, February 2, 2018

Boston Manhandles St. Louis 3-1

St. Louis Blues vs Boston Bruins - Game 53 Recap
Goal: Schwartz (15)
Record 31-19-3
My Thoughts on the game

  • I feel like the policeman doing crowd control, because about all I can think to say about this game is, "Move along folks. There's nothing to see here."
  • For the second game in a row, I didn't think the Blues looked all that sharp. Passes weren't crisp and accurate. We couldn't get to our game at all. Although we outshot Boston in the first period 14-9 it just seemed like we had a hard time getting any sustained offensive pressure.
  • Give Boston credit.  They're a hot team. Coming into the game they were 14-4-1 in their last 19 games, including an 18 game unbeaten streak prior to dropping their last one at home against Anaheim.
  • For the Blues, it was Jake Allen back in net for the first time in quite a while. He played a great game, in my opinion. The team gave up 45 shots on goal. He stopped 43 of them. For those out there who need a little help with their math, that's a .956 save percentage. Last I checked, that was pretty darned good. 
  • The Bruins scored a very controversial goal at 12:32 of the first period. The play started with a shot that Allen blocked with his pads that went straight up into the air. Jake lost site of the puck and didn't know where it was. It landed to his left so he shifted that direction on his knees. The Bruins crashed the net and two of them slid across the crease taking Jake with them. He wound up totally out of the blue paint because of the contact. Everyone started swatting at the puck. It looked like Pietrangelo was going to clear it, but he couldn't. Then it looked like Edmondson would clear it. He didn't. Boston center, David Krejci finally put it in the net on a play that seemed to last forever.
  • St. Louis challenged the goal on the grounds of goalie interference. It looked to me in real time that it was definitely interference. Then when I saw the replays and different angles, I was even more convinced. I, along with the Blues announcers, was totally surprised when the officials ruled it to be a good goal. Their explanation was that Jake couldn't have gotten back and made that save anyway. Well, excuse my language, but no shit! Why couldn't he get back? Because he was totally taken out of position by the two Bruins. Unbelievable!
  • I said before that the play started with a shot on goal.  It actually started before that when the Blues failed to clear the puck and turned it over in their own end. One of our 14 giveaways on the night. I don't know if it was sloppy play by the Blues, or all the defensive pressure put on by the Bruins, or both. Boston definitely was quick to close in on the puck all night.  They didn't give us any space. 
  • Back to the goal and the question of interference, the Boston announcers said "And you gotta like the body language of Jake Allen. He wasn't complaining that he wasn't allowed to do his job because there were bodies everywhere because the puck was in the crease." Last time I checked it didn't matter if the puck was in the crease or in the rafters, its not ok to run into a goalie and take him totally out of the play. 
  • John Kelly, Darren Pang and Bernie Federko were saying that Jake should have complained more and might have gotten the call if he had. So, I guess it's now up to the players to be cry babies in order for the rules to be enforced. 
  • Regardless of the goal, the Blues needed to get to their game somehow. They never really managed to do that. The Bruins outshot us 22-6 in the second. No goals were scored but it sure did seem like we were on our heels the ENTIRE period.
  • Boston scored quickly on their first and only power play of the night. Tarasenko was called for hooking at 8:35 of the third and the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron one-timed a pass over the right shoulder of Allen 30 seconds later. Bergeron was right in the middle of the 4 Blues playing defense. Nobody touched him. He just stood there, received the pass and shot it. Somebody's gotta get to that guy and it just seemed like the effort wasn't there. 
  • Schwartz scored a nice goal on a tic-tac-toe play from Tarasenko at the point, to Schenn in the high slot, to Jaden down next to the goal. It was his first goal since returning from his ankle injury and his 15th on the season. 
  • Backes added an empty net goal for the final score of 3-1.
  • Many of the players' dads are along on this trip. It's their annual road trip where they take the dads along, which is a pretty cool thing. After all the dads do for their kids to help them reach the NHL, and then to get to be a part of that for a couple of games must be really fun for them. The Blues were 4-0 in the previous two years on these trips.
  • The Blues travel to Buffalo for a Saturday night game before returning home and taking on Minnesota and Colorado at home and then a back-to-back game the next night in Winnipeg. It doesn't get any easier. Every point is important. Dallas is 3 points behind us for a playoff spot. 
#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...