St. Louis Blues Morning Links: Blues Go Down In Flames

Mar 25, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes a glove save on a shot by St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during a game at Scottrade Center. Mandatory The Flames won 3-2 in overtime. Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes a glove save on a shot by St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) during a game at Scottrade Center. Mandatory The Flames won 3-2 in overtime. Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /

Good morning Blues fans! The title may have been a bit extreme as the team played reasonably well last night. However a loss is a loss at this point.

The St. Louis Blues had plenty of opportunities to take the full points last night against the Calgary Flames. In the end, they had to settle for the one point, which is rather sour tasting.

Everything somewhat went against the Blues last night. Penalties were not in their favor as a couple called were rather dubious and then you got the silly delay of game one at the end of regulation.

Then things get even less peachy in terms of the playoff race. St. Louis is still all but assured of a spot being nine points ahead of Los Angeles, but the standings would look completely different had they won.

The Blues are now two points behind Calgary instead of one point ahead. The Blues are also a point behind Nashville, since the Predators can’t stop winning.

At this point of the season, there is no way the Minnesota Wild are catching the Chicago Blackhawks. So, finishing outside of the eighth spot is priority one for the Blues.

St. Louis proved they could beat the Blackhawks last season, but that was last season. This is a different Blues team and while they would make a game of it each night, I just can’t picture that series going very long.

More optimistic fans will say St. Louis will have to run through Chicago even if they don’t see them in the first round. That is true. However, I’d rather run into Chicago after having the momentum of knocking off Minnesota or San Jose than in the first round.

The problem with the Blackhawks is not that they are unbeatable. The got thrashed 7-0 by Florida last night. The issue is they force you to play your very best game every night.

That is something the Blues are just not good at. They have great shift, great periods or great sections of the game but a full 60 minutes for seven games is tough and playing Chicago demands that.

We will see how it pans out, but last night did not help. Also not helping was playing some familiar faces.

The problem with playing against old teammates is they know your tendencies. Troy Brouwer got the Flames on the board with a deflected goal, but he’s faced Jake Allen so much that he knew where he wanted to shoot.

The same can be said for Brian Elliott. Moose didn’t have a shockingly spectacular game, but he made the saves he needed and a big one toward the end. With the puck on Vladimir Tarasenko’s stick, Elliott put his glove right where he knew it would go because he has seen it in practice so many times.

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Every goaltender gets spread sheets and shot charts, but it is one thing to be told where Tarasenko will shoot and another to instinctually know it. Elliott had muscle memory on his side and that may have proved the difference.

Really, the one disappointing thing about last night (aside from losing) was the overtime play. The Blues are just a bad overtime and shootout team.

Stats don’t necessarily back that up, but it is more a visual thing. The Blues just never seem in control of the game when it is three-on-three. While they are 1-1 this year in the shootout, they just never want to make a move. It’s always just glide down and shoot it.

The Blues don’t need to worry about any of that in the playoffs, but it doesn’t help if they don’t feel they can dominate any teams. St. Louis is not Chicago or Pittsburgh, but they have some speed and talent. For whatever reason, they seem gun shy at the wrong times and last night was one, at least in overtime.

Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right

When it comes to resting players, the NHL and the NBA have polar opposite thoughts from both players and coaches. Though Blues players would never dream of resting themselves, they seem rather sympathetic to their basketball brethren’s plight. (STLToday)

Matthew Tkachuk may need to tone his game down a pinch to avoid too many suspensions in his career. Despite his ability to take a bad penalty here or there though, he has already proven that he belongs in this league. (Post-Dispatch)

The white board in the background may further prove that the Blues need some arena upgrades. Regardless of that, the Blues were a bit disappointed that all three goals against were deflected, but realized their game was not the losing kind even with the result. (Blues)

In some news that has been swept under the rug or gone unnoticed, USA Hockey is searching for replacement players on the national women’s side. The senior national team is boycotting all games until they have assurances of certain treatment. (ESPNW)

When to bring back a player after an injury is a struggle for every team. The Blues deal with it quite a bit, especially when thin at center. However, bringing someone back too quickly can have an adverse affect as the Florida Panthers are finding out. (ESPN)

Have a great day Blues fans!