St. Louis Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko Bails Out Blues

Oct 27, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) skates with the puck during a game against the Detroit Red Wings at Scottrade Center. The Red Wings won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 27, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) skates with the puck during a game against the Detroit Red Wings at Scottrade Center. The Red Wings won 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis knocked off the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first game of a weekend back-to-back. It wasn’t pretty, but it was needed.

The St. Louis Blues still have problems. Many, if not all, of those problems are of their own making. That’s why getting a win against Columbus was so important.

Coming into the game, the Blues were 3-4-2 in their last nine games. Their lone win in the last five was a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blues hoped that win would get them going and they got drubbed to begin this week. Now the team is hoping another one goal game will spur some offense, but it doesn’t get any easier with the Colorado Avalanche coming to town.

The Blues need to keep digging deep. They played better overall, but there was still plenty to be unhappy with.

That’s not to say the bad outweighed the good. When you’re in a slump, it’s hard for fans to not stick with the negative stuff until we see a little bit more consistency.


We’ll start off with the bad. Even though the Blues won the game there was still not a complete effort the way you would want to see.

Again, the Blues outshot their opponent. It’s getting to a point where you can’t even bring up the shots taken or given up because the Blues are regularly winning that battle.

The problem is the shots they do give up come on odd man rushes or giveaways. The shots they take are too often from bad angles, shot right into the goaltender or missing the net completely.

That was all true during the game against Columbus, especially on the offensive end. Curtis McElhinney did come up with some huge saves, including one in overtime, but there were quite a few where he was not even forced to move to make the stop.

The Blues continue to set up their opponents as much, if not more, than their own teammates. Kevin Shattenkirk gifted the Blue Jackets their only goal.

There was no reason for him to blindly backhand the puck in front of the net. You don’t make that pass on the forehand, let alone the backhand.

The Blues almost handed Columbus another goal with poor puck control, but Carter Hutton was able to save his team.

St. Louis was much better in this contest, but they still are not going to those dirty areas. I maintain this team does not need someone camping in front of the net like their former captain.

They do need people crashing after shots and they are not getting that enough. The Blues are too much one and done in terms of getting shots off and then having to transition right back to defense.


The Blues scored more than one goal and won. The offense got two goals in Dallas (should’ve been three), but still got creamed.

Coming up with a win can’t be discounted no matter how you thought the team played. The Blues were better at getting some traffic and extra effort and were matched by a goaltender who was hot on the night.

Still, the offense had a bit more flow, a bit more jump and it paid off with a win.

More from Bleedin' Blue

Carter Hutton rebounded himself and the team. He only faced 21 shots, but there were many quality chances against, especially late in the game.

Hutton has had two fantastic games and one that he would like to forget, but that was more because the team failed to show up. Hutton is clearly a backup in this scenario, but it is nice that the Blues can give their starter a night off and still have the next guy steal some wins.

The penalty kill returned. It was never bad, but the PK was giving up a few too many compared to their early season success.

The Blue Jackets came into Scottrade Center with the league’s best powerplay and were also coming off a 10 goal performance against Montreal the night before. The Blues penalty kill kept them off the board on three chances and limited the number of quality scoring opportunities as well.

The Blues turned up the physicality. Prior to this game they were second to last in the division in hits. They took the body 26 times against Columbus, which was good to see.

Jay Bouwmeester needs his parents to come to every game. He played with an extra pep in his step and scored a great goal.

I don’t give him as much guff as many do, but it was nice to see him shoot to score instead of just shooting looking for a tip or rebound.

Lastly, but definitely not least, it was great to see Vladimir Tarasenko step up and lead the team to a win. The guy has defenders harassing him left and right, so there isn’t anything negative about his game.

It’s just a downer to see big name guys finding ways to dominate games when all you see is highlights and Tarasenko was not producing as much. With the extra space in overtime, he did what stars do and won it with an unstoppable shot.

Looking Forward

It won’t be long before the team’s next game. It’s the Colorado Avalanche coming to town for a very unusual 4 p.m. puck drop here in St. Louis.

The Blues are hoping to catch another team on the back end of back-to-backs. Columbus beat Montreal before St. Louis took them down. Colorado beat Minnesota 1-0 in a feisty game, so perhaps that took enough out of them for it to be an even match.

In the post-game show, Mike Yeo said he would like the Blues to start focusing more on themselves than their opponents. That is a good philosophy to adopt.

Next: Enter to Win FanSided's Sports Fan of the Year

The Blues have been their own worst enemy of late. If they clean up their own mistakes, they’d have more W’s on the board than they do.

That is apparently easier said than done. Still, it is good to have that winning feeling at least for a night. Now, they need to carry it over into an afternoon tilt.