Good morning Blues fans! What a game last night, eh? It was never comfortable, but it never really is for our team.
The St. Louis Blues took down the Nashville Predators last night. Well, if you want to be more accurate, the Blues won but neither side was ever in control of the game.
With that in mind, it was fitting that the game went back and forth as it did. It was a pendulum swinging and fortunately for the Blues, it ended up on their side at the end of the game.
The Blues came out flying and tested the Predators early. Then, as tends to happen for whatever reason, the Blues had one mistake and the Predators capitalized.
It was somewhat fitting that the Predators scored on a garbage goal to end Game 1 and scored on a similar lucky play in Game 2. This time there was little doubt that Jake Allen had little chance to stop it.
It was disappointing that the Blues opened up strong for the second game in a row and can’t find a way to reward themselves. Pekka Rinne deserves some credit for that, but St. Louis needs to do something to get those early goals.
Outside of that, the Blues did a good job of fighting back. They put a little more pressure on offensively and kept most chances toward their net from the outside.
It seemed as though the Blues would get the short end of the stick, even though they tied it up on a late first period goal. Colton Parayko appeared to be injured on the knee-to-knee hit that kicked Vernon Fiddler out for the game.
Fortunately, not only did they get the goal but they got their defenseman back as well. One of the reasons that was so important was Parayko’s stick handling ability.
He assisted on the second goal of the game. He also single-handedly carried the puck into the zone several times that allowed the Blues to either get pressure on goal or important line changes.
As usual, the Blues could not make things comfortable at the end of games. These are the playoffs and that makes things different, but the Blues just cannot score in empty nets when it matters most.
The team fails to clear pucks without icing it, which puts more pressure on. It’s just defend, defend and hope too much.
There is no point in hoping that changes. That has been the case for multiple seasons, so there is little doubt it will stay the same for any games remaining.
It is tough on the fans. It gives gray hairs and ulcers. However, if it gets the job done, that is all you can hope for.
At this point, we want the team to look good winning and will always nitpick. Does it really matter though?
Sure, some will say you can only sustain winning on will for so long but that is not always true. If they can win this way, who are we to say it has to be different.
While we may never be satisfied unless the team wins 4-1, you just need to be ahead when the final buzzer goes.
Also, while discussing things fans may never be happy with, we should talk Vladimir Tarasenko. He drives us nuts with his willingness to defer, but I think we need to stop wondering if he can step up in the big moments.
He is now third on the Blues all-time scoring list in the playoffs with 22 goals. He scored a powerplay goal, which was his first in quite some time and scored the game winner for the team too.
Blues fans got spoiled with Brett Hull‘s average of a goal per game sometimes. Tarasenko is putting his name among the elites. His fault now might be more that his teammates are not as capable of supporting him as we would like.
For now, let’s enjoy the show. This is going to be a difficult series. We’re going to have to ride the coaster, but I’m glad we have guys like Tarasenko and Parayko on our side.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
The St. Louis Blues got big games from Parayko, Allen and Tarasenko. Sometimes it is hard to believe they can be as good as they are, yet humble as they are. Each of the three tried to deflect the praise somewhere else and were just glad they won. (Blues)
Mike Yeo was not quite as humble when discussing his big stars of the night though. Yeo said he could see it in Tarasenko’s eye the day before and was impressed by Allen’s ability to lead the team with words after Game 1 and with play during Game 2. (Blues)
Speaking of Yeo, he seems to have developed a way to alter the lineup in effective ways without taking hits to anyone’s confidence. Case in point was removing Ivan Barbashev coming into the series and then using him to replace Magnus Paajarvi, while still praising up everyone. (STLToday)
We discussed it up in the main article, but it bears repeating. Colton Parayko is becoming one of the leaders of this team by the example he sets. His teammates see it and find it hard to not have to step up their own games. (Post-Dispatch)
The cleaning of house has begun a little bit in Chicago. The Blackhawks will be in search of a new backup goaltender after making a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. (NHL)
Have a great day Blues fans!