The St. Louis Blues looked almost as bad as you can in both games in Minnesota. However, coming away squeaky clean in both contests makes one wonder if things worked out just right.
First thing’s first, even when you know opossum is spelled opossum it never really looks right. Despite that, it might be just what the Blues were doing in Minnesota.
I’m not going to BS anyone and say I think the Blues had this all planned out to the letter. The fact is St. Louis is extremely fortunate to have escaped Minnesota with one win, let alone two.
However, the Blues do have two wins and have a huge upper hand going home for the next two games. The idea that the Blues did anything but play poorly overall seems far fetched, but if you think about it, it might not be crazy.
The Blues played horribly in Game 1. Mike Yeo said in his Game 2 press conference that the Blues did not lose Game 1 and while Jake Allen played wonderfully, the team did enough to win.
Obviously that is true in a sense. They scored two goals and got the win.
However, the idea that they were even with Minnesota until St. Louis scored is a bit overboard. The Wild were running roughshod on the Blues.
If Allen only had a good night, the Blues lose that one 6-2 and that is assuming St. Louis still get their goals. Originally, it seemed like it was going to be something similar in Game 2.
However, as the game went along, you could see the Wild becoming frustrated. At that point, the idea popped into my head that the Blues could be playing opossum.
After winning Game 1, the Blues were playing with house money. You split and it is still a huge win for the Blues. Steal two games and you hit the jackpot.
With that in mind, even as frustrating as it was to watch, what did the Blues gain by playing an aggressive offensive style? Try to match the Wild and you get torched by the opponent and the fans.
Instead, the Blues seemed content to defend, defend and defend some more. Again, I don’t think that was necessarily the plan for Game 1 but as time went on, I wonder if it became an idea they actually implemented.
As a fan of soccer, that is probably one of the reasons people find the sport boring. Teams that are “underdogs” will park the bus, so to speak, and try to only play offense on counter-attacks.
There are often fans that decry the tactic. Whether we like it or not, it works – at least in soccer. Hockey is usually a different animal due to the speed and confined space.
Still, it felt like that was what the Blues were doing. They seemed content to rope-a-dope the Wild, who clearly became frustrated and looked a little tired.
More from Bleedin' Blue
- St. Louis Blues Prospects Shine And Fizzle In Prospects Showcase
- St. Louis Blues Giving Nick Ritchie A Look Is No Lose Situation
- St. Louis Blues Torey Krug Already Injured Before 2023-24 Season
- St. Louis Blues Need Kasperi Kapanen To Be On Best Behavior
- Former St. Louis Blues Forward Going Into Hall Of Fame
Of course, Minnesota got a huge boost from their game tying goals. Still, the Blues appear to be the team with more to give.
For the Wild’s part, that has to be frustrating. They seem to be doing everything but scoring.
The Blues, on the other hand, have played nothing like they are capable of. The offense is timid and indecisive, they are weak on the puck and the defenders fail to clear at important times.
Playing on home ice will not magically change all that, but the Blues still may have been playing for home ice.
St. Louis now gets the matchups they want. The Blues get the last change as well and both of those things can really make a difference.
Despite the Blues being a fantastic road team a couple years ago, you could always tell the difference from home and road. Some of that may have been because Ken Hitchcock was preoccupied with matchups, but some of it bears true no matter the coach.
If you can pick who to send out and force your opponent into different lineup choices the way baseball teams do when they send a left handed batter up to force a pitching change, then you’ve had a small win.
Clearly small wins are all the Blues need to take this series. They’ve already had wins when their game was nowhere near where it needed to be, so if they get any kind of advantage on home ice, things might have paid off.
We better hope there was an ounce of playing opossum in their game. If not, then luck had a lot to do with it and even if they play better, that can swing back the other way.