Despite the all around glum upon the realization that it’s nearly April and the Blues aren’t looking at a playoff spot (not even from a nice set of binoculars), Saturday nights game against the Minnesota Wild brought about a bright coat of paint in attempts to cheer up fans, players and (maybe?) potential investors alike. And though the boys in blue came out victorious, there are both pros and cons to glean from the game, which I’ll be happy to point out.
- Six different players scored each of the goals on Saturday. D’Agostini netted his 19th of the year. Cracknell scored his third ever NHL goal. The ever-increasingly great-trade of trades Chris Stewart scored his 24th of the year, his 11th as a member of the Blues. Backes, Pietrangelo and Berglund also saw their pucks hit the back of the net during the affair.
- There was only one penalty against the Blues, whereas we had five power play opportunities. Did the team capitalize on any of these opportunities? No, however, it’s always nice to put the heat on a team, especially when you’re doing it to them more often than they’re putting any kind of heat or pressure on you.
- Ty Conklin only held the Wild to 3 goals.
- The Blues held a massive advantage with shots on goal at 47 to 16.
- This win made it two wins in a row for the Blues.
- This didn’t happen again…
- The one penalty against the Blues that gave the Wild their power play also cost the Blues a point. Antti Meittinen did capitalize on their PP and scored a goal on a pass from Andrew Brunette (whose assist pushed him to 700 career points), which also, though for a brief amount of time, put the Wild up 2-1 on the Blues.
- The Wild are in the same non-playoffs position as the Blues. After Saturday’s loss the Wild have lost 8 straight and seem to be in the same “let’s just get this season over with” phase that the Blues are in.
- While the victors scored 6 goals on 47 shots, Conklin let in 3 of only 16 shots made by the Wild. While it’s nice to know that you outshot the ever-living you know what out of a team, any team, this margin of shots to goals kind of takes the air out of the celebratory balloons.
While it may not excite many that the Blues escaped this one victorious, very much so in fact, so late in the season where playoff hopes are bleak and/or non-existent it’s still nice to see that they know how to win and have the capacity to put in a full 60 minutes of hard work and are rewarded with a W. A few interesting things to note; Backes’ goal was his 27th goal of the year, the highest among the team and also his first against the Wild at the XCel Energy Center, a.k.a. his first goal scored as an NHL player at “home” in Minnesota. The Chris Stewart goal was his 11th as a Blue, putting him at 11 goals in just 19 games.
Also, this Nikita Nikitin pass through the legs was probably one of the coolest things we saw all night and ended up being an assist for Berglund’s goal late in the third period.
The Blues face the Wild again on Tuesday, March 29th at 7p CST and will air on FS-MW. Headed to the game? Then don’t forget to collect your Maxwell House Coffee Mug if you’re one of the first 15,000 to go through the gates. The Blues are also taking non-perishable food items as part of a food drive; volunteers will be collecting fan donated food items at each entrance and the food items will be donated to local St. Louis food banks. Donate, collect your mug, and get ready to cheer the Blues on against the Wild on Tuesday!