St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 10 Against Calgary Flames

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 25: Alex Pietrangelo
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 25: Alex Pietrangelo /

The St. Louis Blues did not make things easy on themselves when they took on the Calgary Flames for the first time in 2017-18. When the final horn sounded, things had settled back in though.

The St. Louis Blues definitely had to shake off some rust when they came out of the gate against the Calgary Flames. The game was not exactly how you would script things.

Still, the Blues ended up winning by the final score of 5-2. The end result sounds like it was a dominating affair, but that was not really the case.

St. Louis deserved to win when you view everything as a whole. It was just those pieces here and there that made the game more interesting than it needed to be.

The game somewhat encapsulated the entire year to this point. The end result was more than good enough, but how you got there left a little to be desired. So, let’s take a look at the good and the bad.


The Blues bad first period.

Not long after the puck dropped in the first period against Calgary, you could tell something was off. The Blues just did not look themselves and it scarily became more evident as the period went on.

It was hard to put a finger on initially. Then it clicked – the Blues looked like a team that had not played for three days, with the last game four days prior.

You’re going to get these layoffs here and there. St. Louis has just not become accustomed to them yet since they’ve already had a pair of back-to-backs and a handful of three in five nights and the like.

The problem was they looked rusty, whereas that was not the case when they had a break before the Chicago game. They were assuming passes would find their mark, assuming teammates would take the puck when left in an area and just had an overall sluggishness.

Perhaps we should have figured something was up the way Jake Allen bobbled the initial shot of the game. More on that later.

It was just a very lackluster effort. They were extremely weak on the puck, which came back to bite them when they gave up the first goal of the game.


Alexander Steen came to life in a big way.

Nobody was calling for Steen’s job. We understood that it would take him a little time to get back into things after having missed about a month or more of hockey. Still, he had gone pointless in three games since his return.

You can forget all that. Steen scored the game tying goal on a nice little snap, push-shot that beat the goaltender on the blocker side. That goal gave the Blues a bit of a blueprint on where to shoot the rest of the night.

Steen did more than just set that blueprint. He ended up assisting on three goals as well.

Suddenly, he went from no points to a point per game average after one single night.


The power play sprang to life.

With the occasional exception, the Blues looked like a legitimate threat on the power play. They finished the night 2 for 3, with both goals coming in the second period.

The first came on a nice rebound goal. Vladimir Tarasenko rang one off the post and it settled down right on the back door for Jaden Schwartz.

The second one was a seeing-eye wrister from the right circle. The Blues defense continued to be hot with Alex Pietrangelo picking up another goal.

The key was the team actually making the most of their chances. They did not waste shots for nothing, but they actually took shots.

We still need to see Colton Parayko unleash some shots like Vince Dunn does, but overall it was a good bounce back after some very poor special teams performances.

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The final five minutes of the second period.

Perhaps it played different on television, but in person the end of the second period was almost as bad as the beginning of the first. The Blues got sloppy and almost paid the price for it.

They took a silly penalty (no matter what we think of these bogus slashing calls) late in the frame. Though it was before the final minutes, the Blues also let Calgary back into the game with a lame goal.

Blame it on whatever you want, bad ice, bad luck or just a bad decision, Allen’s blunder could have cost the team given how up and down their play was those final minutes of the second.

Pros and Cons:

Jake Allen’s roller coaster.

I love me some Snake. I have been one of his biggest supporters for the last few years. However, I try to be able to call it out when there are things that were not up to par.

This was one of those games where his play was at the extremes. On the one hand, you get the second Calgary goal which falls on Allen’s shoulders.

Even after seeing it in person and then several replays, it remains unclear what happened. He might have hit a rut or lost an edge. Maybe he got a brief glimpse of the Calgary player rushing along the boards and the split-second indecision threw him off. Whatever the reason, it was not his finest moment.

Additionally, he looked shaky on some shots. There were several rebounds put into prime areas that the Flames just could not capitalize on.

On the flip side, Allen made several stops to keep the Blues in it during the opening period. He also bailed them out on a number of breakaways or near breaks, including one big one on one of Calgary’s stars.

That particular save would have made former Blues goalie Jon Casey proud, though Casey tended not to stop those at times. That is neither here nor there.


The newest roster additions looked solid.

Beau Bennett and Nate Prosser did not come away with any points. In fact, the third line remains a large point of contention with their lack of production.

Related Story: Third Line Woes Might Sink Blues

However, Bennett brought some pop with him. There is no reason to be overly excited about his game or his skill level yet, but he brought some energy.

Once he shook off the nerves, he looked like a solid NHLer that is more than capable of filling a third line roll. If he can elevate the play of his teammates, maybe the void won’t look so bleak.

On the blue line, Prosser had a decent showing as well. He was only on the ice for a little over 15 minutes, but you could notice him.

I would not say he is better than Carl Gunnarsson, especially with Gunny’s hot start. Prosser was throwing his weight around though.

He was credited with four official hits, which led the team. He was also winning those little battles that help add up to larger things even though each moment seems insignificant at the time.


Faceoffs continue to be an issue.

The final stats show the Blues winning 51% of their draws. That is great that the team won the faceoff battle for maybe only the second or third game this year.

However, I call that final stat fool’s gold. It looks nice, but it is not real.

The Blues could not buy a faceoff win in the first period if they told the Flames there were naked women pressing themselves on the glass behind them.

You could chalk that up to the poor period overall, but it just never got visibly better. Clearly there were improvements over the course of the game, but the team still struggles.

Additionally, Oskar Sudqvist might not be suited for the middle. He continues to be bad on faceoffs with a team low of 33%.

Final Thoughts:

Another win.

Being at the game is always fun, especially when the team wins. I had a horrible run of luck last season, which almost put me off going to games in person anymore. It was good to get a win, both for the team and personally.

Overall, the Blues just keep finding ways to get it done. They’re getting scoring from their defenders, the top two lines continue to click nicely and the goaltending is either good enough or great.

There is plenty for this team to work on. They still want to set up too many pretty plays instead of shooting or just making the easy pass.

Next: Blues Coaches And Fans Don't See Eye To Eye On Call Ups And Demotions

Still, even with all our complaints, you can’t argue results. They are three points ahead in the Central Division. They are also now tied with the number of goals scored with the vaunted Chicago offense.

Only Tampa Bay has more points so far. The interesting thing is how good this team might be if they stopped getting in their own way so much. Maybe we’ll see.