The St. Louis Blues were hoping to get back on the winning track after a disappointing game against the New York Islanders. The Calgary Flames were not quite accommodating in that respect.
When the St. Louis Blues left St. Louis, they were hoping to hit the refresh button and get things back on track. An extremely disappointing loss to the New York Islanders where their behinds were handed to them was something the Blues wanted in the rear view mirror.
Instead, they were treated to much of the same. The famous Canadian hospitality was not quite on display as the Calgary Flames opened the flood gates against the Blues.
Things seemed to be going the Blues way. They scored the first goal of the game early in the contest.
However, perhaps we should have seen things coming the way the rest of the period unfolded. The Blues would score again, but the meat of the sandwich included two goals from Calgary, all in the first period.
Nobody did any scoring in the second. Then, the gates fully opened.
With the game tied at two going into the third, the teams traded goals until it was 4-4. That was the last time the Blues would be considered in the contest.
Calgary rattled off three unanswered in the final six minutes of the game. The end result was a rather unsettling scoreline that included a Blues defeat.
The Blues have two more chances to right the ship on this Canadian swing. This was definitely not the way to start though.
Jake Allen is stumbling a bit.
For the second game in a row, Allen was given little support defensively. Guys were standing around, facing the goal, flat footed on several occasions.
While the pass that set up the Flames sixth goal was fantastic, the amount of puck watching done by the Blues defenders was nothing short of shocking. Allen stood little to no chance on several of the goals given up.
That said, some blame does rest with the goaltender. As much as I love goaltenders and protect them, there were some shots that Allen should have stopped.
Even if we say there were plays to be made earlier that would have avoided the shot, the bottom line is Allen has made us accustomed to him making those saves. He just did not with enough regularity in this one.
To his credit, he made 30 saves. When you face 36 shots, that’s not enough though.
The slightly disconcerting thing is that’s two games in a row for Allen. He gave up four goals on 18 shots against the Islanders. That’s two games with save percentages below .900, which is definitely not a good thing.
The Blues got the scoring they needed.
After an offensive clunker against New York, the Blues had enough goals to win. Four goals should win you the contest on most nights.
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Those are the kind of games you win more often than not. Sadly, the Blues defenders could not make it last.
It was not a who’s who of Calgary scorers.
If the Blues main guys were doing their scoring, it was not the case for Calgary. St. Louis is now allowing too many goals to guys you’ve never heard of.
I’m sorry, but it seems hard to believe even the hard core NHL fan outside of Calgary has heard of Sam Bennett or Mark Jankowski. However, the Blues made them look like stars.
Jankowski ended up with two goals, his first two of the season and almost scored the hat trick a couple times. Bennett also scored his first.
The Blues also let some players that don’t pop on the score sheet often beat them with the Islanders.
These things do happen over the course of a year. It’s just disappointing to see it happening with a little more regularity.
The Blues found an answer pretty quickly.
Until the end of the game, the Blues almost always had an answer. It was not as though they were searching for that goal the entire game either. They made sure to let Calgary know they were not going anywhere.
The Flames score twice in the first? So do the Blues.
Calgary scores first in the third? St. Louis answers just six minutes later.
The Blues answered the next Calgary goal with one of their own 12 seconds later. Tarasenko put the team on his shoulders with that one.
Eventually, the Blues ran out of answering calls but the fact that they had so many was impressive enough.
Untimely penalties continue to kill the team.
Statistically, the Blues are not a terrible penalty killing team. 1/3 is about average in the NHL for killing things off.
However, it is the timeliness of the calls against them that is so bad. Two of their three penalties came in the third period, when they needed to keep things the cleanest.
The Blues took a bad tripping penalty with about nine minutes to go in the third. They killed it off, but that’s time spent away from trying to tie the game.
Then, we can argue about the validity of a stupid double roughing call on the Blues about three minutes later. Still, it was not the time to be involved in that sort of thing and Calgary made the Blues pay on that.
Yes, St. Louis answered, but the game was getting to the point where the Blues needed to have a lead. Instead, the penalty saw Calgary go ahead and ultimately have a leg up in taking the game.
The Blues look a little listless right now.
This was the game we were worried about after the Islanders. Calgary did not dominate and the Blues did enough things to win on most nights. This was not most nights though.
The concerning thing is that when the Blues seem to lose, they do so in spectacular fashion. That’s not something you want to happen with regularity.
The team’s defending was very poor for the second game in a row. That is usually something they get figured out quite quickly.
As mentioned, when you score four goals, you are going to win most nights. They could have won this one with a few things going their way. The Blues are just not making things go their way like they were in the beginning.
The thing they need to worry about now is if this becomes a negative trend. The Blues have only had one other two-game losing streak. If you allow it to get to three, suddenly fans worry that this might be the reality and the start to the season was the dram.