The St. Louis Blues entered the choppy waters of the Shark Tank in San Jose Friday night and fell victim to a feeding frenzy, dropping a 6-3 loss to the Sharks. The Blues were flat and listless, little more than chum, in the 1st period as the defense parted like the Red Sea and a hapless Brian Elliott allowed four goals and the Blues were out-shot 12-2. St. Louis eventually managed goals from Ian Cole, David Backes, and Jaden Schwartz but ultimately couldn’t stay disciplined long enough to complete a come-back.
To say the Blues floundered Friday night is an understatement. From the opening puck-drop the entire team was lifeless and looked to be skating in sand. The Sharks swarmed around them and pelted Elliott over and over again. San Jose scored only 35 seconds into the game, and poured on the pressure from there. An early power-play goal ended a long kill streak on the road for St. Louis and the Blues staggered into the 2nd period already down 4-0.
Ells was pulled for Halak to start the 2nd but it was more for his sake than anything. He’d been hung out to dry on the majority of San Jose’s 12 shots and actually made some big saves in the opening frame or the score might’ve been much worse. Halak was good in relief, keeping San Jose off the board for 30+ minutes while the Blues scrapped and clawed their way back into the game. Cole’s 1st goal of the season was the only score in the 2nd period. Schwartz’s assist on the play extended his personal point streak to 6 games.
Backes’s power-play goal, coming off a beautiful set-up pass from Derek Roy, cut the lead to 4-2 early in the 3rd period.
Schwartzy continued to have a very good game, with his 6th goal of the season, giving St. Louis some momentum and hope with the score 4-3. Schwartz was one of only three Blues skaters to finish plus-1 or better on the night (Roman Polak plus-2 & Vladimir Sobotka plus-1.)
The Blues couldn’t get any closer than that, taking some tough penalties in the 3rd, and gave up another power-play tally to the Sharks just a minute after climbing to within one. It was the third of the game for Brent Burns, the rookie’s first career Hat-Trick, and it essentially finished off St. Louis. San Jose added an empty net goal inside the last minute of play to seal the win. They out-shot the Blues 32-24 overall, another sign St. Louis was off its game.
Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling of this loss for the Blues. Having now given up 12 goals in two games versus San Jose this season, and trailing the Sharks by 2 points in the standings, their lack of readiness against their conference foe is worrisome. St. Louis is still 18-4-3 on the young season so I’m not ready to panic, but it’s certainly frustrating to know they can play great 60-minute hockey only to look absolutely horrible like that on the road. Here’s hoping they are hungry to get back into their game tonight as they finish up their road-trip with a tilt in Los Angeles against the Kings.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!