Vladimir Tarasenko scored three goals in the Blues’ first two contests to help the club jump to a 2-0 record to begin the 2013 campaign, but a loss to the Blackhawks Tuesday night was certainly a wake up call. Still, St. Louis is off to a fine start.
*Tarasenko’s first NHL goal came on a breakaway in the first period of Saturday’s home opener. The 21-year-old seemed to be cherry picking though, since the puck was originally in the Blues’ defensive end and “Vlady” was at center ice. Developing a better two-way game will be important for Tarasenko in the future.
*David Perron has already taken four penalties (8 PIM) in the first three contests. If i’m not mistaken, all of these penalties were taken in the offensive zone. This has been a problem for the Blues this season that will obviously be addressed by Ken Hitchcock. Perron looked better in Chicago though. The more Perron handles the puck, the better he is. T.J. Oshie’s power play goal (against the Blackhawks) doesn’t happen without Perron’s puck handling, along with his well placed shot.
*Alex Pietrangelo‘s pass to Oshie, that resulted in a shorthanded goal against Detroit, was a thing of beauty. That being said, the d-man has made a few mistakes that have resulted in goals. A bad pinch by Pietrangelo resulted in a 3-on-0 rush (and goal) for the Blackhawks in the first period on Tuesday night. He wasn’t the only defenseman to make a bad pinch in that game however. Chicago had at least five odd-man rushes in the first frame alone in that game.
*Kevin Shattenkirk is currently tied for the league lead with five assists. He has looked very good so far, and has arguably been the Blues’ top defensemen thus far.
*Jaroslav Halak was pulled in the second period of Monday’s game against Nashville. The third goal he allowed was definitely a soft goal, while the second tally (The Blues were shorthanded at the time) wasn’t a bad goal, but it was stoppable. Brian Elliott kept St. Louis in Tuesday’s contest with multiple big saves, and the Blues will look for Halak to do the same for them as the season progresses.
*Vladimir Sobotka has always been one of the Blues most underrated players, and this season has been no different. He had a really good game against the Predators on Monday, but his effort unfortunately did not result in any goals.
St. Louis is at home tomorrow night against the Nashville Predators.