The St. Louis Blues are playing some pretty good hockey for 58 minutes. It’s what is going on during those last couple that is a bit concerning.
The St. Louis Blues picked up an important divisional win over the Dallas Stars as November is wrapping up in a rare Monday night game. The final score of 4-3 was a good showing for the offense.
Unfortunately, for the second game in a row, the Blues gave up a tying goal in the last two minutes of the game. So, for the second game in a row, they gave points to divisional opponents.
These things happen over the course of a long season. You’re going to let up and give up late goals.
The problem is the Blues seem to have mastered the ability. I know, in my brain, it isn’t true, but in my heart it feels like almost any time they go into the final two minutes only up by a goal, the tying goal is going to be scored by the opponent.
What is worse is the fact that it was Minnesota and Dallas to get those points. The only thing that would have been a bigger slap in the face is if it was Chicago and Detroit (yes, I know they aren’t in our division anymore).
The question, while not directly concerning the Blues, is whether those points will help those teams later in the season. For right now, the Blues are firmly ahead in the standings.
For all we know, the Stars and Wild might pass the Blues though. That point could be the difference between a home game or starting on the road.
It could be the difference between being in the top three or a wild card. If something terrible happened, it could be the difference between making the playoffs and not.
That last one is likely an over-exaggeration. Still, the Blues need to finish off games better, especially against the teams in their division.
The problem, beyond just giving up the goals is the consistency with their play, whether it is good or bad. On the plus side, the Blues have the league’s leading point streak scorer at the moment and some of the hottest forwards overall.
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David Perron now has a point in eight straight games. There were some people that would have considered an eight goal season decent and he already has seven so far this year. Additionally, Robby Fabbri continues to be a force as he had several great chances against Dallas and finished off one of them.
On the negative side, the Blues continue to make the same bone-headed mistakes. Whether it’s players or coaches, they continue to have too many men.
They were not penalized, but they had four guys on the ice during the 3-on-3 overtime against Dallas. If anyone had touched it, the Blues would have been shorthanded instead of being able to score the game winner.
On a positive note, for the second time in a couple weeks, a big save by Jake Allen directly led to a break and a goal. Allen may not look as calm as year’s past, but he’s still making some big saves and giving the team confidence to rush forward.
One more sour note is the opposite thinking taken by this team. As the Dallas game (and others really) was winding down, the Blues had two consecutive icings. Then, with the opposing net empty, the Blues refuse to clear it out in an attempt to carry or weakly pass it out of the zone.
It is maddening. You keep tired legs on the ice with purposeless icings. Then when you should ice it, you try to get cute?
In the end, the Blues are getting the wins. In year’s past, they’d let teams tie it and then win it in overtime.
Instead, St. Louis is showing some mental fortitude to shake off the disappointment. It’s never good to give points to divisional opponents, but as long as you’re getting the extra point, you can’t be too disappointed.
The Blues just need to not make this a habit. They’ve already got enough bad habits this season.