Well, we knew the Note couldn’t stay undefeated forever. The team lost for the first time this season tonight in Nashville by a score of 4-3 to the Predators. First, let me just say that Nashville is a pretty darn good team. I was extremely impressed with them tonight, and I also happened to watch them play against Chicago on Wednesday, and they were solid that night as well. I knew this division was going to be good, but I’m starting to think there are at least four legitimate contenders in the Central.
Moving to the Blues … I wasn’t terribly disappointed in the play overall tonight, but there were some things of note that are worth watching in the future. First, I was a little disappointed in the play of goalie Jaroslav Halak in tonight’s game. I’m not going to sit here and say that this one was on him, but he allowed four goals on just 22 shots. They weren’t all his fault, and he has been excellent up to tonight, so nothing to worry about yet. The defensive effort was decent for the most part, but the Preds did get some awfully good looks when they did mount an offensive attack.
On the positive side of things, I really love the way the team battled. They got down in the first minute of the game, but they continued to fight back throughout the game and they came awfully close to tying it late in the third. The Blues outshot the Preds 12-2 in the final frame, which was a very good sign. Offensively in general, I thought the team was solid again. Three goals on 35 shots is just fine by me, and if we do that on a nightly basis, this team will win plenty of games.
On the scoring front, everyone’s favorite grinder Matt D’Agostini notched his third goal of the season in the first period, and he has really been a revelation thus far. I don’t think it’s realistic to think this scoring output will keep up all season, but he has proven that he is at least capable on the offensive side of things. When Vlad Sobotka comes back, which could be this weekend, this team starts to look awfully deep on the third and fourth lines. I’m a big fan of a team being legitimately four lines deep, and barring injury I think the Blues team is just that.
TJ Oshie got the team’s second goal of the night, and boy was it a pretty one. Seeing goals like that really makes me think Oshie is ready to take a major offensive step forward this season. Patrick Berglund got the third tally, and I think he has looked awfully good so far in the first three games.
I know the Blues just lost, but I am really loving this team so far. Their style of play is fun to watch, and they have the talent to be an impressive offensive force.