Blues Downed In Desert

St. Louis Blues David Backes (second from left) celebrates his first period goal against the Nashville Predators with Andy McDonald (10) Erik Johnson (second from right) and Eric Brewer at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 11, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

The Blues didn’t have one of their best showings of the season on Saturday night, as they were defeated by the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 5-3. There were some positives and negatives for the Blues tonight, so let’s take a closer look.

Positives: The Blues battled back to tie the game twice after getting down, so you have to like the fight in the team. Also, Brad Boyes, Andy McDonald, and David Backes all scored, and those are all guys we need to step up. Finally, Cam Janssen got his first fighting major of the season.

Well, that’s it for the positives.

Negatives: Ah, where to begin? First, the penalty kill was atrocious. For a team that prides itself on being very good with a man down, there’s no excuse for allowing three power play goals. The porous penalty killing is a nice segue to what I believe is a major issue with this team, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  The injury problems are just too much to overcome. You can’t replace guys like TJ Oshie and David Perron with guys like Chris Porter and Nick Drazenovic and expect to continue to win consistently. You can’t lose three of your top six defensemen and expect to win consistently. Don’t get me wrong… I like some of the young guys. This isn’t a shot against them. The fact of the matter is, the Blues need to get healthy. Just as an example, the group of Drazenovic, Nikita Nikitin, Tyson Strachan, and Nathan Oystrick was a combined -4 in tonight’s game. They weren’t the only guys who were minus, but I think that’s a very telling stat. The Blues need to find a way to stay above water until some of their regulars come back.

That really turned into a bit of a rant, so sorry for that, but let’s move on with the negatives from tonight. Ray Whitney had five points against us tonight. Yes, Ray Whitney had three goals and two assists. For those of you keeping track at home, Whitney had exactly ZERO goals heading into tonight’s game. He’s not a bad player, but you can’t let Ray Whitney single-handedly beat you.

I don’t know if you can really blame this game on the goaltending, but this wasn’t Ty Conklin’s best performance of the season. He got thrown under the bus a few times by his teammates, but we need whoever is in net to win games for us right now, not just keep us in. He only faced 26 shots, but as good as the goaltending has been this season, I’m willing to give this one a pass.

Tags: Andy McDonald Brad Boyes Cam Janssen Chris Porter David Backes David Perron Nathan Oystrick Nick Drazenovic Nikita Nikitin Penalty Kill Phoenix Coyotes Ray Whitney St. Louis Blues TJ Oshie Ty Conklin Tyson Strachan

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