St. Louis Blues Morning Links: Penalties Doom The Blues

Apr 26, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (17) scores against Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 26, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Jaden Schwartz (17) scores against Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) during the third period in game one of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Good morning Blues fans! Things did not go how we wanted last night. That doesn’t mean the series is over. Far from it.

The St. Louis Blues fell in intensely disappointing fashion to the Nashville Predators in Game 1. After falling behind 2-0 and 3-1, the team battled back but it was for naught.

The Blues would fall by a final score of 4-3 and drop the first game of the series. That means the Blues trail for the first time in the 2017 playoffs and Nashville has still yet to drop a game.

The negatives are quite high for the Blues. St. Louis will have to clean a lot of stuff up if they want to even things in Game 2.

The main problem was the Blues taking too many costly penalties. If you look only at the stat sheet, giving up only three powerplays doesn’t sound too bad.

Scoring on two of those three makes it a lot worse. On top of all that, the Blues put themselves on a brief 5-on-3 penalty kill shortly after giving up a goal.

When you are chasing the game, you cannot be chasing the puck constantly on the penalty kill. Nashville has a speedy team anyway, so any wasted energy is opportunity lost.

Again, three powerplays for Nashville and four overall penalties against St. Louis does not sound terrible. Every advantage given is a chance for your opponent.

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On top of that, Jake Allen did not have his best game. He was nowhere near as bad as some people want to say or believe, but we became too accustomed to superhuman instead of the mere mortal we got in Game 1.

The first goal was deflected, but Allen would have saved that one in the first round. The second was an absolute laser beam and the Snake was screened a bit.

The third goal was pure luck. Allen saved another PK Subban bomb and the rebound went off a skate.

Then the fourth, so many want to blame Allen. The puck should have been cleared initially. After it was not, he lunged out to get a piece of it and Nashville got there first.

If he stays in his crease, he gets faulted for not being aggressive. When you come out to challenge and miss, you bet blamed there too. It was a fluke play that just did not work out.

On the positive side, the Blues never gave up. They failed to score on their only powerplay of the game, took too many penalties and let Nashville do exactly what they wanted. The Blues still had a chance to win in the third period despite all of that.

If the referees saw fit to call a couple clear high sticks in the third period, who knows how things turn out. Instead, Nashville jumped on every chance handed to them and took the game. It was not pure dominance like so many expected after their series with Chicago though.

The Blues also got solid performances from Vladimir Sobotka again. His rip shot to tie things up is the kind of stuff you’d expect more from Vladimir Tarasenko.

There is no need to speak falsely though. The Blues lost, plain and simple.

While the Blues will clearly have to stay out of the box or focus more on Subban, it might not be as simple as saying the Blues win if they don’t take those penalties. Nevertheless, you’d like to see what they could have accomplished had they killed or not even taken the penalties.

Allen played well enough to win, but will have to regain his first round form if the Blues do not change a few things. Staying out of the box is key, but they must get pucks on target. Nashville had 18 blocks on top of the Blues 30 shots.

St. Louis will need to really ramp up the pressure on the Nashville net to get things turned back around.

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

In case you missed it, yesterday we shared our five key areas that would win or lose the series. Knowing what we know now, perhaps I should have added staying out of the box in there. Still, the points remain as keys to the entire series. (Bleedin’ Blue)

After the game, Mike Yeo seemed calm and was saying all the right things. Still, you could tell he was not overly pleased with the entirety of the 60 minutes, even if proud of his team’s fight-back. (Blues)

The St. Louis Blues had similar road and home records during the regular season. Both this year and last, in the playoffs, home ice has not been as friendly. Now that the Blues are the home team, that will need to change. (STLToday)

Last night was not the best first game for the Blues, but it was a great final game for their AHL team. The Chicago Wolves and Ville Husso held on at the end and will see another day. (Wolves)

The Blues were not the only team to give up home ice advantage. For those of you too tired or depressed to stay up and watch the late game, the young team from Edmonton put on quite a show on the road. (NHL)

Have a great day Blues fans!