Saturday, March 31, 2018

Golden Knights Prevail Over Blues in Overtime 4-3

St. Louis Blues vs Vegas Golden Knights - Game 77 Recap
Goals: Berglund (13), Schenn (26) and Thorburn (1)
Record 43-28-6
My thoughts on the game

  • Sounded and looked like there were lots of Blues fans there. It almost sounded like a home game for the boys.
  • Patrik Berglund scored early in this one. It was his 4th goal in the last 6 games. He looks to be skating with a new pep in his step and with a lot more confidence lately. He's finding some chemistry with Alexander Steen and Kyle Brodziak.
  • Vegas gave the Blues a chance to add to the lead by taking a tripping penalty moments after the Berglund goal, and then a delay of game penalty right after that. But, instead of adding to the lead they gave up a short-handed goal which tied it up at 1-1.
  • It wasn't just a breakaway, it was like Williamson Karlsson was in the rink all by himself, one-on-one with Jake Allen. The closest player to him when he got to the net was Schenn who was barely across the blue line. It was Karlsson's 41st goal of the year in 78 games. He had scored 18 goals in his previous 183 games. These Knights all seem to be playing like they have something to prove, all of them like the kid who finally gets in the game and gets his chance to show what he can do.
  • There was some lady wearing a bright pink shirt or jacket behind the goal on one end, and I kept thinking it was the goal lamp. I couldn't tell when a shot went in or not sometimes and I kept seeing that pink shirt! Who wears pink to a hockey game unless it's a "Pink for Cancer Awareness" night or something?
  • Vegas' scored 2 more goals in the game. They both were on very sharp, crisp "tic-tac-toe" passing plays around the net. Both were scored on the unlikeliest of angles. On the first one, Jonathan Marchessault's skates were both below the goal line when he scored. To me, it looked like Robert Bortuzzo was a little slow in finding him.
  • On the other goal, James Neal wasn't quite as deep as the first one, but he was at a very sharp angle as well and beat Jake top shelf before he could adjust to the crisp passing. Neal was all alone on the weak side and caught the Blues off-guard.
  • After Vegas had taken a 2-1 lead, Brayden Schenn found the net. He found the smallest of spaces just over the glove of the goaltender, Malcolm Subban and inside the post. Jaden Schwartz and Vladi Tarasenko assisted on the goal.
  • The Blues turned up the offensive pressure at the end of the first period and ended up outshooting Vegas 9-5.
  • The last Blue who hadn't yet scored a goal this year, finally got one when we needed it most. Chris Thorburn got a goal through the five-hole on Subban after his linemates battled hard and won the puck behind the Vegas net. Scottie Upshall and Oskar Sundqvist both got assists on the goal. It's good to see him get a goal. He works hard every night.
  • Overtime didn't last long. Vegas got a screen on Jake Allen and Marchessault's wrister from the high slot went in just 22 seconds into the extra time. I love Brayden Schenn, but in watching the replay, I felt like he let his man stand in front of Jake without challenging him for the space. I'm sure guys get tired and lose concentration at times. It's understandable. I'm just saying I thought that led to the goal. 
  • I thought the play looked very close to being offsides and I thought the linesman was a bit out of position to clearly see it, but the commentators said it looked onside to them. No crying over spilled milk. Here's a screenshot of the play where he crosses the blue line.
  • The Blues still got a point and are still in a playoff spot. They stop in Arizona tonight to face the Coyotes before coming home for their final two home games of the season.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Blues Win Sixth Straight With 3-2 Overtime Win

San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues - Game 76 Recap
Goals: Sundqvist (1), Tarasenko (30,31)
Record 43-28-5
My Thoughts on the game

  • I was at this game and I usually watch it back on the DVR to write my recap. I just haven't had time to do that on this one. I live 1 1/2 hours from Scottrade, so by the time I get home it's usually 11:30 and then up for work the next day.  It's just hard to get a recap posted in a timely fashion when I go to the game.
  • With that being said, I had a lot of fun at this game. The crowd at Scottrade has been a little rowdier lately, but last night I felt like it was electric.
  • Whether you like people yelling "Woooo" or not, at least they're doing something besides sitting there like they're at a tennis match.
  • It was good to see Sundqvist get his first goal as a Blue. He's been a healthy scratch more often than not this season, but they say he has a great attitude and works hard all of the time. I'm happy for him to get the goal. 
  • This Blues squad is working hard and it's truly fun to watch. San Jose had won 8 straight coming into this one, but that ended, didn't it?
  • We are in the 1st wild card spot right now with a game in hand on one of the teams under us. We have to keep winning, though.
  • Tarasenko seems to have benefited from sitting out a couple of games last week. He scored twice. If we are going to pull this off, we need him putting pucks in the net. For sure!
  • Jake Allen continued to be the backstop we need. I thought the Evander Kane goal was definitely stoppable. Jake thought he had it in his glove and it trickled out the top so it must have been knuckling or he just misjudged it. Either way, it wasn't enough to beat us and that's all that matters.
  • I'll have a more complete set of recaps for the Vegas and Arizona games this weekend. 
  • Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment and share with your Blues friends.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Five in a Row! Blues Over Columbus 2-1

St. Louis Blues vs Columbus Blue Jackets - Game 75 Recap
Goals: Steen (15) and Tarasenko (29)
Record 42-28-5
My thoughts on the game

  • Someone suggested that they liked my recaps when they were more opinion based (like a columnist), instead of game recaps (written like a reporter).  I honestly didn't realize I had changed so much until I went back and read some of the earlier ones. As I tried to be more thorough, things did change. If you have a preference and would like to offer feedback, please comment on here or on the social media posts. I'd love to hear from you.
  • This game was a clash of two teams that showed a lot of animosity for one another back in October when the Blues won by a score of 4-1. Coming into this one, Columbus had won 10 straight games. The Blues had won 4 straight and were battling for their playoff lives.
  • Alexander Steen scored early. With linemates Kyle Brodziak and Patrik Berglund this group is working hard and contributing. It's really good to see.
  • Columbus had a goal waived off shortly after due to the fact that it was a soccer goal. The guy kicked it in.
  • I understand the fans who were disappointed with Jake Allen, who for the second year in a row went through a funk earlier this season. But, boy! Is he playing well now!? The save he made in the first period with guys in front of him and a wide open net where he reached across and snagged the puck out of the air. WOW! Or should I say "WOOOOO!"? (Ala Ric Flair) I mean, I think I saw a couple of Blue Jackets raise their arms to celebrate, they were so certain that it was a goal.
  • Truth is, this is the way Jake was playing early in the season when we were being talked about as one of the best teams in the NHL. Then Carter Hutton stepped in and played lights out when we needed him most. Thank God for him, too. And now thank goodness Jake is playing the way he is. He made a LOT of nice saves on a VERY good team tonight.
  • Nationwide Arena looked dark on TV! Seriously, compared to Scottrade it was like night and day.
  • Why do idiots bang on the glass when the play gets close to them? What are they trying to accomplish? Do they think it bothers the players? Do they think it helps their team? Have they just had too much to drink or are they just stupid? I saw lots of people doing this in Nashville too, so I hope it's not something that catches on in St. Louis.
  • Has anyone noticed how much more physical Tage Thompson has gotten in the past few weeks? I can't wait to see this guy in a year or two when he's filled out a little more and has that much more game experience. With a little more meat on his bones and the skill he has, he's going to be a beast!
  • I thought Vladimir Tarasenko's goal was very creative. Something you don't see much from him. He slid to his left and created a lane and then used Alex Pietrangelo as a screen. It was nice to see and turned out to be the game-winner. 
  • He also nearly gave up a goal when he turned the puck over in the offensive zone out near the blue line. He hustled to get back but couldn't catch the guy. Lucky for us that Jake Allen made the stop and did so quite smoothly. It didn't look like the guy really ever even got close to finding an opening. Thanks for having Vladi's back, Jake.
  • Columbus managed to score one goal. Cam Atkinson sniped one past Jake. The shot was unexpected and a good one. 
  • The commentators said Jake "stood on his head" in the third period to stop everything Columbus threw at us. I never saw him do that, but the camera angles don't always allow you to see everything. I'll bet it's hard to do, though, with all that equipment on.
  • The Blues are now 10-2-2 in the 2nd night of back-to-back games this season. It's a good thing they have such a good record in such games because they have two more of them yet this season. Including the last game of the regular season in Colorado which could very well be for all the marbles. Well, not ALL the marbles but at least a playoff spot and a chance to eventually play for "All the Marbles".
  • Hope you enjoyed me getting back to my roots. Thanks to Barry Anglin for pointing me back to them. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, please like and share on social media. Comments always welcome. Let's go Blues!
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Berglund Scores Twice, Blues Win Fourth Straight

Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues - Game 74 Recap
Goals: Berglund (11,12), Tarasenko (28) and Jaskin (6)
Record 41-28-5
My thoughts on this game

  • As the season winds down the Blues have cranked things up. They have won three straight games by coming from behind and winning in overtime. Every night it's a different player leading the way. Tonight there would be no come from behind and no overtime, but the third factor held true as we got goals from Berglund and Jaskin in this one. 
  • It didn't take long for the Blues to get on the board. :40 seconds into the first period a Blues rush into the offensive zone with Pietrangelo filling on the right wing and Berglund up the middle led to a goal. It started with Steen along the boards at center ice, he found Petro streaking up the right side. Petro shuffled the puck over to Berglund in some traffic. The big Swede took the puck on his backhand and hoisted it over the blocker side into the upper corner past Vancouver goaltender, Anders Nilsson.
  • In the middle of the first, the Canucks turned up their offensive pressure. In one attack they had 4 shots on goal in the same possession. During the onslaught, Jake made one save with the handle of his stick and the Blues were able to keep the score 1-0 to end the first.
  • The Blues didn't escape the first period without casualties, though. Carl Gunnarsson left the game, barely able to get off the ice. It was announced after the game that he had torn an ACL and would require surgery. He will miss 6 months. Speedy recovery wishes to Carl!
  • The Blues had 2 power plays in the first period. Neither produced any goals. They couldn't even manage a shot on goal during the first one. The second Vancouver penalty came with just a minute left in the first period, so it carried over into the opening minute of the second period.
  • After the Canucks killed off the penalty to start the 2nd, Tage Thompson was called for interference and gave Vancouver a chance with the man advantage at the 2:55 mark.
  • With 10 seconds left in the penalty, Kyle Brodziak poked a puck away from a Canuck into center ice, he was gassed but managed to skate it into the offensive zone and find Berglund, who had slipped into the middle of the ice without anyone around him. He took a stride or two with the puck before his wrist shot again beat Nilsson to give the Blues a 2-0 lead on a short-handed goal. Berglund had his first multi-goal game since March 2017.
  • At the 12:40 mark of the middle period Vince Dunn was called for hooking. The Blues nearly got another short-handed goal when Oskar Sundqvist made a slick toe-drag move to get around the Vancouver defense, but Nilsson managed to stop the puck. 
  • St. Louis killed off the penalty, but 7 seconds after it was over the Sedin twins teamed up and assisted on a Sam Gagner goal. The passing was crisp and clean and they found Gagner open on the back side. Colton Parayko looked to be a little bit late turning and finding Gagner. His goal made it 2-1 and that's score held through the end of the 2nd period.
  • Vladimir Taransenko was back tonight after missing two games with an upper-body injury. He added his 28th goal of the season in an unlikely fashion just 14 seconds into the third period. The Blues won the faceoff to start the period and sent the puck in behind the Vancouver net. Last game's hero, Jaden Schwartz went in on the forecheck and pilfered the puck. He found Vladi in front of the net. Vladi actually turned his back to the goal and pushed a little backhand knuckler towards the goal. It was like it was in slow motion. Nilsson was probably expecting a typical Tarasenko shot and seemed baffled by how slow the puck was coming at him. He went down into the butterfly and the puck slid through his legs to give the Blues a 3-1 lead.
  • After outshooting the Blues 12-4 in the opening period, Vancouver didn't manage much offense after that. St. Louis held them to 5 shots on goal in the middle period and just 3 in the third. Opponents have not gotten a lot of opportunities against them in this recent stretch.
  • Another power-play for St. Louis midway through the third yielded no shots on goal again. It was looking better, I thought when Vladi was out. More pucks got on net. Maybe they are thinking about getting him the puck too much on the power play and they just need to shoot it. Logic tells you if you don't get shots you aren't going to score. 
  • With 2 and a half minutes left in the game, Dimitri Jaskin was rewarded for his recent hard work. He's really been grinding and tonight it paid off. Colton Parayko had the puck out near the blue line. He slid to his left to create a lane to the goal. This time, instead of winding up for that huge slap shot of his, he slid a little soft one towards the goal. It was amazing as three different players touched it on the way in. First, it was Tage Thompson who redirected it, then Sobotka and finally Jaskin who put it in the net. 
  • Hopefully, that will be part of the film study they see as an example of how to score more goals. I've been frustrated with guys always thinking they have to wind up and blast the puck every single time. 
  • Nonetheless, it was a good win and the Blues inched closer to the wild card spot. They find themselves still on the outside looking in and the next 3 opponents are no easy targets. They play in Columbus where the Blue Jackets have won like 10 in a row or something like that. Then they host San Jose on Tuesday before flying back out west for another back-to-back weekend with Vegas and then Arizona.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, March 23, 2018

Blues Ride Schwartz & Allen to Third Straight Overtime Victory

Boston Bruins vs St. Louis Blues - Game 73 Recap
Goals: Schwartz (21, 22)
Record 40-28-5
My thoughts on the game

  • The Bruins came into St. Louis on what NBC calls "rivalry night". Not many of today's younger fans realize why this matchup could be called a rivalry. But those who've been around since the beginning know quite well, and remember losing to Bobby Orr and the Bruins in the Stanley Cup final in 1970. 
  • I was up close and personal at this game. I used the seat upgrade feature on the St. Louis Blues app right before game time and found a seat right behind the goal in the first row. Being so close really gives you an appreciation for how fast this game is and how little space there is on the ice.
  • The Bruins came into the game missing several key players like David Backes, Zdeno Chara, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy and Rick Nash, all of whom are out with injuries. NBC's Mike "Doc" Emrick said, "The Bruins come into this one with lots of injuries. The Blues, however, are pretty healthy."  I guess he forgot about Vladi Tarasenko, Jay Bouwmeester, Scottie Upshall, Zach Sanford, Robbie Fabbri, Carter Hutton, etc.
  • Tarasenko was out for the 2nd game in a row after leaving the Rangers game at the end of the first period. The only status the Blues have given is 'upper body injury'. 
  • This one started out fast and physical. The Bruins came with lots of energy early and the Blues seemed to be on their heels, especially in the first half of the opening period.
  • Although there wasn't much offense from either team all game long, there was plenty of physicality. The shots on goal in the first were only 9-5 in favor of Boston, but the hits were something like 16-5 in favor of the Blues. 
  • Boston did manage a goal in the first period. Half way through at the 10:12 mark the Blues were working in their own zone to kill off a cross-checking penalty on Robert Bortuzzo. The puck was below the goal line just right of the net when Alex Pietrangelo attempted to clear it up the middle of the ice. Trouble is, the referee was in his line of fire and the puck went off him and fell onto the tape of rookie Ryan Donato. Donato impressed in his first game in the NHL two nights earlier with a goal and 2 assists against Columbus, and he buried this one for his 4th point in only 2 NHL games. 
  • It was a fluke play and a bad bounce that nobody could really do anything about. The Bruins led 1-0.
  • The Blues got to their game a little bit more in the 2nd period and outshot the Bruins 9-8 but neither team found a way to get the puck in the net. 
  • The hits kept piling up as the Blues were heavy on the forecheck. They outhit the Bruins 46-24 in the game.
  • Trailing after 2 periods seems to be familiar territory for the Blues lately. Once again, they somehow found a way to tie the game. This time it was Jaden Schwartz at the 9:36 mark of the period. The play started with Schenn's cross-ice pass to Alexander Steen. Steen, entering the offensive zone made a nice drop pass to Schwartz who put a wrist shot over the blocker side of the goaltender to tie it up 1-1. 
  • The Blues nearly ended it in regulation when literally, in the last couple of seconds of the game their offensive pressure created a scoring chance, but goalie Anton Khudobin knocked down a puck while on his back in the crease to preserve the tie and send the game into overtime.
  • Overtime only last 30 seconds. Jaden Schwartz made sure of that when his wrist shot through the legs of a defender once again beat Khudobin on the blocker side. 
  • Jake Allen continued his solid play in net. Going back to the San Jose game 2 weeks ago, he is 5-2 with a 2.28 GAA and .916 save percentage.
  • Somehow, this team has found ways to win just when they've needed it most. Three straight games where they've come from behind and won in overtime is something we haven't seen from this team this year. 
  • With 9 games remaining the Blues are still not in a playoff spot. There is more work to do. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Monday, March 19, 2018

Blues Win Overtime Thriller in Chicago 5-4

St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks - Game 72 Recap
Goals: Steen (14), Dunn (5), Sobotka (11), Pietrangelo (15), and Berglund (10)
Record 39-28-5
My thoughts on this game

  • The Blues came out flat in this one and didn't match the energy that Chicago brought to the ice. The Hawks outshot the Blues 13-8 in the first period and got 2 goals from Alex DeBrincat at the 13:07 and 19:08 marks.
  • The Blues got to work quickly in the 2nd with a tip-in goal from Alexander Steen off a Vince Dunn shot from the point just 2:02 into the period and then tied it up at the 5:14 mark on another shot from Dunn.  This time he didn't need a tip-in. His slap shot never touched anything but twine and was his 5th of his rookie season.
  • With a little under 2 minutes to play in the period it looked like St. Louis had tied it up. A rush at the goal by Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz ended with the red light on and the referee signaling "goal". As the play was being whistled dead, the puck was back out of the net and Schenn had an open net. 
  • That last statement will make more sense when I explain that after a review the "first" goal, which was called on the ice went to replay it was determined that it never totally crossed the line. Thus, nullifying the goal and any second chances that might have occurred afterwards.
  • Moments later, with less than 2 seconds left in the period, Vinnie Hinostroza hustled into the corner and beat everyone to a loose puck in the Hawks' offensive zone. He got the puck in front of the net where David Kampf poked it at Jake Allen's pad and skate up against the post. Before the puck was across the line, it looked as if Kampf kicked or stomped at it with his skate and then the puck was in. There were no challenges or reviews and with just 1.4 seconds left in the period, the Blackhawks were leading 3-2.
  • This game was far from over. Vladimir Sobotka scored to tie it up at the 15:24 mark. DeBrincat got the hat trick at 16:47 to give the Hawks the lead once again. It was his 3rd hat trick of his rookie season, quite an accomplishment for the kid.
  • As time wound down, the Blues pulled Allen in favor of an extra attacker. At the 18:38 mark the Captain came through with his 15th goal of the season. There was lots of traffic in front with Kyle Brodziak in the high slot and Alexander Steen, once again, down in front of the goaltender. Steen has taken on that role of getting in front and screening the goaltender. We've needed it all year and finally some guys have started getting there.
  • For the 2nd night in a row, the Blues would need overtime to get the 2 points. For Chicago, Jonathan Toews narrowly missed when a shot hit the crossbar and went up. But, as the Blues headed the other direction it was Patrik Berglund with the game-winner. His 10th goal of the season put the Blues in the win column for the 2nd night in a row.
  • The Blues are now just 1 point out of a wild-card spot. Ahead of them are Dallas, LA and Colorado. We play Colorado in the final game of the season. Let's hope it doesn't come down to that game for the playoff spot.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Schenn Sends Rangers Packing With Overtime Goal

New York Rangers vs St. Louis Blues - Game 71 Recap
Goals: Pietrangelo (13,14) Soshnikov (1), and Schenn (25)
Record 38-28-5
My Thoughts on the game

  • The Blues came out from the opening faceoff with a workman-like mentality, determined to achieve a different result than the previous game, which was a 4-1 loss to Colorado at Scottrade Center this past Thursday night.
  • Right off the hop the Blues got the puck into the offensive zone and kept up the pressure long enough that it required a shift change, it lasted so long.
  • At about the 1 minute mark, Vladimir Tarasenko went to the boards in the corner with someone and apparently caught an elbow to the jaw. He finished the period, but never returned from the locker room after the first intermission. Early word was that he was traveling to Chicago but yet unclear as to his status for the game.
  • 2 minutes into the period Chris Thorburn livened things up when he dropped his gloves and went toe-to-toe with Cody McLeod. Both players were assessed fighting penalties.
  • The Rangers were sellers at the trade deadline as they were not in a good position to make a run at the playoffs. As they begin to regroup and analyze the pieces in the cupboard, they've been taking an extended look at their rookie goaltender from Bulgaria, Alexander Georgiev.  Coming into the game he was 2-0 in his last 2 starts with wins over Carolina and Pittsburgh. 
  • The Blues would test the young netminder with 31 shots in the first period and 16 of those on net. Much of the first period was spent in the Blues offensive zone and the Rangers young defensive crew were having a hard time clearing the puck from their defensive zone.
  • With all of those shots on net, a young defensive corps and a rookie goalie, you had to believe that something good was about to happen. It took 15:49, but it did finally happen.
  • Tage Thompson was working very hard on his shift to position himself in front of the net. Despite being shoved and battling for position, he held on long enough for Vladimir Sobotka to get a shot from the point. The shot hit Thompson, and fell to the ice in the slot. Alex Pietrangelo was close enough that he stepped in and cleaned up the rebound with a wrist shot that found the back of the net. The Blues led 1-0 at the end of 1.
  • It didn't take long in the 2nd period for the Rangers to tie things up, but it was on a fluke goal. A shot from the right boards hit Mika Zibanejad, who was crossing in front of the net. The puck deflected in over the glove of Jake Allen just inside the upper right corner. At :42 seconds of the 2nd period it was tied 1-1.
  • Just a minute and a half later, Nikita Soshnikov put the Blues back in front with his 1st goal as a St. Louis Blue. His wrist shot looked lethal to me as he scored on a nice drop pass from Chris Thorburn before the goalie had time to react.
  • The Rangers bounced back and scored twice before the 2nd period was over. Mats Zuccarello scored on another weird play when his pass attempt hit Alexander Steen and then almost as if in slow motion it slid towards Allen, yet he couldn't get to it due to traffic in front of him. He finally did get to it with his glove but couldn't control it as it came out of his glove, bounced off his leg pad and into the net.
  • A couple of minutes later the Rangers got their first lead with a power play goal by Zibenajad. 
  • The Rangers controlled the 2nd period and led with 11 shots on goal to St. Louis' 6.
  • The Blues came out in the third needing at least a goal to tie things up if they were to get any points out of this one. They got their chance when Tage Thompson drew a hooking penalty. He has noticably taken his play up a notch lately.
  • The Blues hadn't managed so much as a shot on goal during the first two power plays in this game and just when it looked like New York would kill off their third penalty of the game with just 23 seconds remaining, Alex Pietrangelo's shot from the point found the net thanks to a nice screen from Steen. It was Petro's 3rd multi-goal game this season. 
  • Both teams had chances down the stretch, but both goalies kept their teams in it.
  • The game went to overtime and Coach Mike Yeo started Kyle Brodziak, Colton Parayko and Vladi Sobotka against Zibeanejad, Brady Skjei and Chris Kreider. Schenn and Shwartz were winded after having played several minutes at the end of regulation. Yeo's hopes were that his line would kill off the NY line and buy some time to get Schenn and Schwartz back in.
  • It turned out to be the right move. New York got the first big chance in OT. A crossing pass in front of Allen caught him out of position a bit. But, he recovered just in time to make an outstanding blocker save.
  • The puck went the other direction and the Blues made their change. Brayden Schenn got the puck in the offensive zone with just one defender back. As he dug it out from the right boards, he spun towards the middle of the ice and created some space. A little dusting of the puck and BAM! He wristed it past Georgiev for the game winner. It was his first goal in a month and his 25th goal and 58th point of the season. 1 more of each will match career highs for the former Philadelphia Flyer. 
  • The OT win moved the Blues a little closer to a playoff spot, but's it definitely down to crunch time with just 11 games left.
  • Next up, the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, March 16, 2018

Despite All Efforts, Blues Fall 4-1 To Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues - Game 70 Recap
Goal: Joel Edmundson (7)
Record 37-28-5

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images                                                                            

My Thoughts on the Game
  • The story of this game was the Colorado goaltender, Semyon Varlamov. He stopped 44 of the Blues'  45 shots on goal and made save after save on just about everything the Blues threw at him. 
  • Despite an excellent effort in all facets of the game, the Blues just couldn't find a way to get the puck past Varlamov. 
  • St. Louis outshot the Avalanche 45-23 in the game, including 22 shots on goal in the final period.
  • In the first 3 to 3 1/2 minute of the opening period, the Blues top line was getting a lot of pressure in the offensive zone, but Varlamov stopped shots from Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, and Vladimir Tarasenko. 
  • One attempt by Schenn was reviewed as it looked like the glove of the goalie could have been in the net when he stopped the shot, but upon review, it was clearly not a goal.
  • It looked like it luck might have been on St. Louis' side when Colorado had an excellent scoring chance where the puck got behind Jake Allen in the goal crease, but rookie defenseman Vince Dunn swept the puck away to keep the game scoreless.
  • The luck would change soon thereafter when Nathan MacKinnon scored at the 10:11 mark and then added another at the 13:03 mark to put the Avs up 2-0. 
  • St. Louis responded about midway through the 2nd period with a goal from Joel Edmundson in his first game back since suffering a broken arm exactly 5 weeks ago against this same Colorado team. It was Edmundson's 7th of the season but it would be the only Blues goal in the game.
  • Mikko Rantanen pushed the lead back to 2 goals when he scored later in the 2nd period.
  • St. Louis pulled out all of the stops in the 3rd and had lots of chances including a wide open net that Vladimir Tarasenko missed that would have gotten it back to just a one-goal game.
  • The Blues pulled Allen late in the game in favor of an extra attacker, but couldn't find the net.
  • Rantanen added an empty-net goal for the 4-1 final. 
  • The win for Colorado pushed them into the top wild-card spot and 5 points in front of the Blues. 
  • There is still a possibility of a playoff spot with Dallas, Anaheim, and Calgary all in front of the Blues, but St. Louis also has a game in hand. 
  • It's gonna be tough. Can they pull it off? Time will tell. If you're interested in the playoff race and didn't see my story about the teams competing for the final spots in the Western Conference, check it out HERE
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Blues Wrap Up Road Trip With Solid 4-2 Win in Anaheim

St. Louis Blues vs Anaheim Ducks - Game 69 Recap
Goals: Bortuzzo (3), Barbashev (7), Sobotka (10) and Berglund (9)
Record 37-27-5
My thoughts on the game

  • Coming off their big win in LA, the Blues were looking to keep things moving in the same direction against the Ducks of Anaheim in this last game of a 4 game road trip. A win would give them 5 of a possible 8 points on the trip and would pull them within 1 point of the last wild-card spot.
  • They would face a goaltender, who with his backup are on pace to set franchise records in goals against average and save percentages for the Ducks. Both tonight's starter, John Gibson and backup Ryan Miller came into the game with identical stats in both categories, 2.49 GAA and .926 save percentages.
  • Coach Yeo would have been a fool to change anything from last game with the way they played against LA. So, the lineup was exactly the same. Why change anything that's not only not broken, but something that seemed to be working better than ever after scoring 7 goals against a strong Los Angeles Kings team.
  • The game started with both goalies being tested on excellent scoring chances. Getzlaf had a breakaway that Jake Allen stopped and Brayden Schenn had a great chance that was blocked by Gibson. In the early going, St. Louis led in scoring chances 6-2.
  • LA looked like they had a 2 on 1 breakaway after a Vince Dunn shot was blocked and caromed out to center ice, but the hustle and determination of Dunn to get back slowed the rush and the opportunity was snuffed out.
  • Moments later Pietrangelo made a nice drop pass to Robert Bortuzzo who had lots of space in the high slot. The defenseman repeated his magic from the game before with the opening goal. It was his first back-to-back games with a goal in his career and he notched a new career high in goals, this being his 3rd of the season.
  • The Blues forechecking in the last two games reminds me of the way they looked in the early part of the season. Their pressure has been creating chances for everyone.
  • Their also getting the puck up the ice quick and attacking before the defense has a chance to set up, which is giving them lots more chances to score. 
  • St. Louis added another goal 3 minutes into the 2nd period. It started on the forecheck again. Thorburn dug the puck out of the corner and kicked it out to Petro on the point. His shot deflected off Nikita Soshnikov and fell to Ivan Barbashev who knocked it in the net. It was Soshnikov's first point as a Blue. We like the way this guy plays hockey.
  • LA closed the gap to 2-1 on a nice pass from Getzlaf to Perry in front of the goal. Jake didn't have a chance as Perry was in alone on the back side.
  • Anaheim got a power play opportunity soon thereafter and seemed to be gaining some momentum. The Blues seemed to retreat and weren't advancing the puck as sharply and quickly for a few minutes. 
  • The momentum was regained when Vladi Tarasenko skated hard at the net with the puck. He got off a backhand shot that was saved by Gibson, but #91 was tripped and fell into the goalie. The Blues got a power play opportunity and had a couple of shots on goal, the best chance coming from Sobotka who nearly snuck one past Gibson's left pad.
  • 2 minutes after the penalty kill by the Ducks, Sobotka found the net. Ivan Barbashev, who has shown another level to his game recently, did a spin-o-rama with the puck along the right half-boards. He passed to Schmaltz who then found Sobotka down low near the goal. The Blues have done a much better job of getting pucks on net and increasing their presence in front. It's made a big difference.
  • LA closed the score to 3-2 at the 6:15 mark of the 3rd on a goal by Grant. Jake was screened on the play and got beat on the short side. An overtime loss wouldn't help nearly as much as a win in regulation, but it looked like it could be a possibility.
  • However, with 8:32 remaining the always gritty, always hustling Kyle Brodziak stole the puck on the forecheck. He found Patrik Berglund in front of the net and Bergie beat Gibson low on the glove side. It was only the Blues' 2nd shot on goal in the period. But it counted!
  • 4-2 was the final. Looking at the stat sheet, it indicated an uneventful game. The SOG were just 23-22 in favor of St. Louis. Faceoffs were 51.2%-48.8%, also in favor of St. Louis. There were only 2 penalties called, one on each team. Hits were nearly even, with Anaheim holding a slight edge. The two biggest stats that made a difference were blocks. St. Louis blocked 20 shots to the Ducks' 11. Lastly, the Ducks had 16 giveaways to the Blues' 9. 
  • The forechecking and defense have been outstanding. Jake has been stellar. He stopped 20 of 22 shots. In the last 3 games he has a 1.67 GAA and a .948 save %. 
  • Colorado comes to town Thursday and then it's the Rangers on St Patrick's Day. 
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Monday, March 12, 2018

Who Will Make the Playoffs in the West?

It's a tight race for the playoff spots in the Western Conference. With just over a month to go, we've taken a look at the teams contending for a spot. Although we can't predict the future, we can take a look at some factors that will surely play a part in determining the 8 teams.

We've assumed Nashville, Winnipeg and Minnesota will hold on to the top 3 spots in the Central Division, and that Vegas will wrap up the Pacific without question. The rest of the spots are still very much in play. Although, with San Jose and Anaheim currently in 2nd and 3rd respectively in that division, it's their spots to lose.

The remaining 2 wild card spots are up for grabs and there are 5 teams fighting for them. I've included the Sharks and Ducks in this analysis because they could very conceivably lose those spots as only 3 points separate Calgary and San Jose with Anaheim and LA sandwiched in between.

In the facts presented below, it is current info as of Monday, March 12th. Four of the teams below play tonight. St. Louis is at Anaheim, the Kings host Vancouver and the Sharks play host to Detroit.

Also, the goaltender stats are just based on their most recent performances. As we all know, if a goalie gets hot this time of the season it can make a big difference, thus the last 5 games or so are all that we analyzed.

Pacific Division

San Jose Sharks
  • Currently 2nd in Pacific Division with 81 points. 
  • They have 14 games remaining, 7 at home and 7 on the road. 
  • They have 2 back-to-backs still on the schedule. 
  • 10 of their 14 games are against opponents who are competing for a playoff spot. 
  • They are 3-2 in their last 5 games with a +6 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, Martin Jones is 3-2 in his last 5 games with a 1.72 GAA and .930 Save %.
  • Thier veteran leader, Joe Thornton is on the IR as is Joel Ward.
  • Chances of making playoffs seem to be nearly a shoe-in.
Anaheim Ducks
  • Currently 3rd in the Pacific Division with 80 points.
  • They have 13 games remaining, 8 at home and 5 on the road.
  • They have 1 set of back-to-back games remaining.
  • 8 of their 13 games are against opponents who are in the playoff race.
  • They are 3-2 in their last 5 games with a +6 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, John Gibson is 3-1 in his last 4 starts with a 2.25 GAA and .936 Save %.
  • Their chances of making the playoffs are very good.  
Los Angeles Kings
  • Currently in 4th place in the division and 3rd in the wild card spot with 79 points.
  • They have 14 games remaining, 8 at home and 6 on the road.
  • They have 3 back-to-back sets of games remaining.
  • 9 of their last 14 games will be against opponents in the playoff race.
  • They are 3-2 in their last 5 games with a +1 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, Jonathan Quick is 3-2 with a 2.79 GAA and .913 Save %
  • They will need to play well and hope for San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas or Colorado to falter in order to earn a spot.
Calgary Flames
  • They are currently in 5th place in the division and 4th in the wild-card race with 78 points.
  • They have 12 games remaining, 7 at home and 5 on the road.
  • They have 1 back-to-back set of games left.
  • 8 of their remaining 12 games are against playoff contenders.
  • They are 2-2-1 in their last 5 games with a -1 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, Mike Smith just returned from the IR with a lower-body injury. He lost in his first game back yesterday to the Islanders where he gave up 5 goals.
  • His backup, Rittich had a 3.0 GAA and .898 Save % while Smith was out.
  • Their chances of making the playoffs at this stage will depend on other teams fading, and unless Smith finds his game quickly and gets red hot, I don't see them in the post-season.

Central Division

Dallas Stars
  • They currently are 4th in the division and hold the first playoff spot with 82 points.
  • They have 13 games remaining, 4 at home and 9 on the road.
  • They have 2 sets of back-to-back games on the schedule.
  • 10 of their remaining games are versus playoff contenders.
  • They are 2-1-2 in their last 5 games with a -2 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, Ben Bishop has not played in a while. He is close to returning from a knee injury. Backup, Lehtonen is 1-2 in his last 3 games but has a 1.67 GAA and .936 save % in those games.
  • They have the toughest schedule remaining and will need good goaltending to hang on to this spot. 
Colorado Avalanche
  • They hold down 5th in the central and the 2nd wild card spot with 80 points.
  • They have 14 games remaining, 7 at home and 7 on the road.
  • 11 of their remaining games will be against playoff contenders.
  • They are 2-0-3 in their last 5 games with a +6 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender, Bernier missed 10 games with a concussion. He returned yesterday but left the game after taking a shot off his mask. If relying on the backup, Varlanov, he is 2-0-3 in his last 5 games with a 2.4 GAA and .913 save %.
  • They have the 2nd toughest schedule of the teams listed here and will need to continue outscoring their opponents to hang on to the last playoff spot.
St. Louis Blues
  • They currently sit 6th in the central and in 5th place in the wild-card spot with 77 points.
  • They have 14 games remaining, 7 at home and 7 on the road.
  • 8 of their remaining games are against playoff contenders.
  • They are 2-2-1 in their last 5 games with a -2 goal differential.
  • Their goaltender would look to be Jake Allen at this point. He is 1-1 in his last 2 starts and has a 1.5 GAA and .960 save % in those games. It's a smaller body of work than some of the other teams' goalies listed here, but he's getting hot at the right time for a playoff run.
  • The key for St. Louis is going to be their offense. If they can continue to put the puck in the net, the schedule is a little more favorable for them than a couple of other teams ahead of them and they might just surprise some people and get to the playoffs.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Blues Score 7! Beat LA 7-2

St. Louis Blues vs Los Angeles Kings - Game 68 Recap
Goals: Bortuzzo (2), Parayko (6), Pietrangelo (12), Barbarshev (5), Tarasenko (27), Brodziak (10), Schwartz (20)
Record 36-27-5
My thoughts on the game
  • In the pre-game show, Darren Pang said, "The Blues are going to need an Academy Award performance today here in LA." Coming off a stretch where the St. Louis hockey club was just 1-7-2 in the last 10 games, they desperately needed to find their game in order to keep a 7th straight playoff appearance a possibility. 
  • Coach Mike Yeo, who's been fiddling with his line combinations all season long, decided to go back to the line that once upon a time, early in the season was ranked as one of the top 2 or 3 lines in all of NHL land. I was happy to see Schenn, Schwartz, and Tarasenko back together.
  • The LA Kings have been playing some good hockey and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, and just 4 points in front of the Blues in the race for a wild-card playoff spot. Their goalie, Jonathan Quick, although considered one of the league's best goaltenders, is just 8-11-3 versus the Blues and would not improve upon that record in this one.
  • The first period opened quickly with offensive rushes and scoring chances from both teams in the first minute of play but both goalies made stops to get things started.
  • Early penalties led to a short LA power play, then 4 on 4, and then a short St. Louis power play with neither team scoring. 
  • That all changed at the 3:03 mark when Ivan Barbashev made a nice move along the right side half boards, spun around with the puck and found Robert Bortuzzo entering the zone near the top of the right circle. Barbie's pass was perfect and Bortuzzo's wrist shot beat Quick for an early 1-0 Blues lead.
  • LA got another power play chance a couple of minutes later and Jake Allen made 2 huge saves to keep the Kings off the board. 
  • The Blues earned another power play when LA was whistled for touching the puck with their hand in the faceoff circle at the 6:51 mark.
  • The Kings are 2nd in the NHL on the penalty kill and kept up that pace by holding the Blues to no power play goals in 3 chances in this game. 
  • However, just 2 seconds after LA was back at full strength Patrik Berglund got the puck down low near the Kings' net, skated across the crease and found Colton Parayko at the top of the right circle. Parayko buried the puck in the back of the net to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.
  • The 2nd period included some saves by Jake Allen who, having played a great game 2 nights earlier in San Jose, looked strong again in net today. He commented that he has been working at staying deeper in the net which seems to be working for him. In fact, he was so deep in the San Jose game that he got his skate caught in the netting and couldn't free himself.
  • LA got their first goal at the 13:13 mark when some traffic in front created a bit of confusion and a 2nd player in front, Drew Doughty redirected a pass that found its way into the net. 
  • Just when it seemed that LA might have the momentum after the goal, they came on the offensive rush. With lots of bodies in front of the net and a loose puck, Schwartz managed to finally get it cleared. The Blues skated North and Alex Pietrangelo worked it in toward the net. He passed to Brodziak down on the goal line to the right of the net. Brodziak skated in front and put a backhand shot on Quick, who couldn't contain the rebound and the charging Pietrangelo poked it home stretching the lead back to a 2 goal lead at 3-1.
  • LA looked like they might just be trying to get to the locker room for the 2nd intermission, but St. Louis was tasting blood and was hungry for more. Ivan Barbashev skated hard at the net, past two defenders and somehow got a shot through the legs of Quick to take a 4-1 lead.
  • That goal chased the LA goalie and they turned to backup, Jack Campbell who has only played in 4 NHL games in his career, and this one was only his 2nd appearance this season.
  • 26 seconds into the third, facing his first shot on goal from one of the people you wouldn't pick to face your first shot from, Vladimir Tarasenko scored on an assist from linemate Jaden Schwartz. Although he didn't get an assist, the goal was created by the forechecking of Brayden Schenn. 
  • Just 32 seconds later St. Louis went up 6-1when Kyle Brodziak scored his 10th goal of the season on a nice backhander, assisted by Alexander Steen.
  • Schwartz finished off St Louis' scoring on his 20th goal of the year with a little over 8 minutes remaining. He was set up by a nice little drop pass from Tarasenko as the #1 line for the Blues was clicking on all cylinders.
  • LA added a power-play goal with 15 seconds left for the final score of 7-2. 
  • It's only been 2 games, but if those two games are any indication, Jake Allen has found something that's been missing. When the Blues needed him most, he's stopped 72 of 75 shots faced. Only 1 of the 3 goals he allowed was at even-strength and was definitely not a soft goal. If he can keep playing like this and the Blues can find a way to score for him, a playoff appearance is definitely still in the picture.
  • Referencing Panger's pre-game comments, the Blues got the Oscar Winning performance they were looking for. It was a great day to be a Blues fan! Now, let's finish off this trip with another win in Anaheim Monday night.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Friday, March 9, 2018

Blues Lose 2-0 in San Jose

St. Louis Blues vs San Jose Sharks - Game 67 Recap
Goals: None
Record 35-27-5
My thoughts on the game

  • After 4 days off, the Blues started a 3 game trip through California needing 3 wins for any hope of climbing back into a playoff spot. They sit 4 points back of the last wild card spot with just 15 games to go.
  • Reading through the projected lineup earlier in the day, we all were surprised to learn at game time that Carter Hutton had sustained a neck injury late in the day and would not start. Jake Allen got the nod and the Blues recalled Ville Husso from San Antonio while Hutton is out. Tonight, they employed the emergency backup system and signed Ben Wexler as the backup for the San Jose game until Husso can join the team in LA on Friday. Wexler is a California native who played 3 years at U of Illinois where he played 26 games in 3 years. 
  • Jake Allen came to play and thank goodness we didn't need Wexler. Allen stopped all 31 shots he faced at even strength. The only hole he showed was one that allowed a power play goal late in the game.
  • This one started off with a lot of back and forth in the early going. San Jose is an aggressive team and plays well at home. They came out charging and the Blues had to play good defense to keep them off the scoreboard. With J-Bo out, Edmundson out and 2 rookies out there in Dunn and Schmaltz, it looked all game like the Blues had shored up the defense.
  • I thought San Jose had most of the offensive pressure in the first. St. Louis didn't manage a shot on goal until about 8 1/2 minutes into the game. In fact, they only had 4 shots on goal in the first. Allen made some good saves on the Sharks' 9 shots on goal and the first ended 0-0.
  • The 2nd period started out much the same. San Jose brought pressure early. Four and a half minutes in they had a nifty passing play when Tierney found Labanc in front of the net wide open, but Jake stopped the point blank shot.
  • San Jose kept up the pressure and caused Vince Dunn to get called for hooking at the 4:58 mark. The Sharks got 2 shots on goal during the man advantage, but Jake made both saves.
  • The 2nd period played out pretty evenly with 10 shots on goal by the Blues and 12 by the Sharks. The score remained 0-0 through 2.
  • This was a cleanly played game with only 3 penalties, so the power play chances were few but they ended up being the difference in this one.
  • The Blues got their chance at the 4:12 mark of the third. They had finally managed to get some sustained offensive pressure when the Sharks tackled Berglund behind the net and they were called for hooking against Brodziak.
  • Disappointingly, the power play yielded zero shots on goal.
  • Yeo tried to shake things up a little late in the game. The 4th line of Soshnikov, Sundqvist and Thompson wasn't seeing much of the ice, but he moved Soshnikov up on a line with Schenn and Schwartz a couple of times. No matter the combinations, the Blues just couldn't find any sort of offense. They managed 2 shots on goal in the third period. 
  • At the 10:30 mark of the third, Evander Kane's stick was up under the arms of Brodziak. As Brodziak turned away from Kane, he acted as if he couldn't get his stick free and Kyle was called for holding the stick. From my perspective, Brodziak had both hands on his own stick and the only way he was holding Kane's stick was if he had a third hand. 
  • There is no review of such things and the call gave another power play to San Jose. 
  • The Blues managed to kill off most of this penalty. Jake was fighting hard and made some good saves. But with just 18 seconds left in the 2 minute penalty, Mikkel Boedker got the puck in the slot and surprised Allen as he got a shot off quickly and just beat Jake on his stick side off the inside of the post. It would prove to be the game-winner.
  • Jake was pulled for an extra attacker with under 2 minutes to go, but the Blues found it hard to maintain possession of the puck in order to create any chances. San Jose got an empty net goal with 15 seconds left to seal the deal.
  • Jake was the 3rd star and it was nice to see him play so well. His counterpart, Martin Jones was the 2nd star, but only had to stop 16 shots on the other end. 
  • We blocked 23 shots to the Sharks' 18 blocks, but even adding their blocks to our shots on goal, we still didn't match their shots on goal as we were outshot 36-16. I doubt many games have been won by a team who only managed 16 shots on goal in a game and who were outshot by 20 shots. 
  • The offense has disappeared in this second half of the season. Yet, as bad as it's been the season is still not over, the playoffs is still a possibility. We MUST WIN in LA on Saturday and Anaheim on Monday!
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Blues Blow Late Lead, Lose 3-2 in Dallas

St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars - Game 66 Recap
Goals: Barbashev (5) and Schwartz (19)
Record 35-26-5
My thoughts on the game

  • With Basketball taking over the Scottrade Center for the next 2 weeks, the Blues left home for a 4 game road trip that started in Dallas and will take them to San Jose, LA, and Anaheim. All four of those opponents are in front of the Blues in the race for the playoffs, so they all are "must-win" games.
  • The game started with a fight just :11 seconds in. Chris Thorburn and the Stars' Antoine Roussel were having words before the puck drop.  They managed to contain their emotions so that the game could start, but just a few seconds later, things had elevated again. When the officials regained control, both players received 5 minutes for fighting, 5 more for game misconducts, and Roussel got 2 extra minutes for being the instigator. The Blues started with a power play.
  • To no avail, as the Blues' unit is a dismal 15.5%, good for only 29th in the league. They were 0 for 4 on the power play in the game. In the last 6 games, they are even worse, scoring just two goals in 23 chances for an 8.7% success rate. It's obviously been a problem all season. They even had a 5 on 3 for 20 seconds in this game and didn't score. If memory serves me correctly, they are something like 0 for 7 or 0 for 8 when having a 2 man advantage this season.
  • The first period played out scoreless with the Blues having more of the better chances to put the puck in the net.
  • Petro had the first good chance when a pass from Schwartz from beneath the goal line was right on target allowing the captain to wind up for the one-timer but Bishop made the save. The play was a near mirror image to the goal Petro scored in the last game.
  • Alexander Steen had a breakaway and put a wrist shot at Bishop that fell to the ice a second later, but a quick whistle prevented any additional chances.
  • Schenn had a steal at his offensive blue line and got in on Bishop first, but was trying to manage a bouncing puck and couldn't really put the shot where he wanted. 
  • The best chance, or shall I say, what should have been the best chance came later in the period when Jaskin led a 3 on 1 break with Schenn and Schwartz. With two of the teams' top scorers on each wing, instead of passing the puck, Jaskin decided to shoot the puck and it wound up right in the chest of the big Dallas goaltender. As regular readers of this blog are aware, I don't call out players by name, but I felt like this was the first of two pretty poor decisions by Jaskin in this game. Bishop smothered the puck and no rebound was given, killing any chance of a goal on this one.
  • The other play from Jaskin was another odd-man rush. This time it was a 3 on 2. With Jaskin in the middle, Schenn on the left and Schwartz on the right and the defenders choosing to pair up with Jaskin and Schenn, Schwartz looked to have a lane to the goal with nobody in between. Jaskin tried to work the puck to Schenn instead of the open man and the pass failed to connect and was broken up by the Dallas defense.
  • I don't see Dimitri Jaskin as a first line player and felt that his play in this one wasn't up to par with two of our better forwards in Schenn and Schwartz.
  • Dallas ended up taking the puck the other way after the 3 on 2 rush described just above, and Tyler Pitlick's wrist shot beat Carter Hutton over the blocker to give them a 1-0 lead.
  • It would take 6 minutes, but St. Louis tied the game when Vince Dunn's shot rebounded out to an open side of the net where Ivan Barbashev was waiting. His 5th goal of the season was also aided by the screening effort of Steen in front of the net.
  • The Blues took the lead when Schwartz raced up the left side and beat Bishop on the short side for his 19th goal of the season.
  • The clock wound down and the Blues were within 3 minutes of sneaking out of town with 2 very valuable points, but Dallas wasn't finished.
  • They turned up the pressure, desperate to tie things up. Captain Jamie Benn's shot from the point was high and went off the end boards behind the net. Tyler Seguin found the puck and centered it to a waiting Alexander Radulov who buried it in the twine, tying the game.
  • A go-ahead goal by Dallas was waived off after a review showed the puck was kicked into the net and the game would go to overtime.
  • The Blues got caught with tired legs and unable to make a change as Dallas maintained pressure in their offensive zone for what seemed like an eternity. When the Blues finally could change and get fresh guys on the ice, it meant just dumping the puck into their zone and racing to the bench. As it turned out, Dallas dominated the overtime period.
  • Their comeback was complete when Benn scored his 22nd of the season at 3:04 of overtime, sending St. Louis packing with not 2, but just 1 point after they were less than 3 minutes away from stealing one. 
  • Carter Hutton was strong in net and made 31 saves on 34 shots. My guess is that he will be the go-to goalie from here on in until he falters. I'm not sure where that would leave Jake Allen, but it is definitely an issue that will need to be dealt with when this season is over.
  • Berglund, who was a healthy scratch in the last game and in watched the game from Mike Yeo's doghouse, got back in the lineup today as Nikita Soshnikov was sick and didn't make the trip. Bergie played 17:24, had 5 shots on goal, 2 hits and lost 1 faceoff. 
  • Not to be left out of the injury report, Scottie Upshall and Jay Bouwmeester both left the game in the 2nd period and did not return with lower body injuries. 
  • I imagine the team will return to St. Louis for regrouping and practice as they have 4 days off before playing in San Jose Thursday, LA on Saturday and Anaheim on Monday.  They're still in it, but everyone else who is competing for the same playoff spots don't seem to be fading, so the Blues need to find their game if a 7th straight playoff appearance will be a part of this year's story.
#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...