The St. Louis Blues had a decidedly better game against the Minnesota Wild than the night before. Unfortunately, it was still not enough.
The St. Louis Blues decided to test myself and other even keeled fans. No sooner do I say that we must see a better game, regardless of the outcome, than the Blues do just that.
St. Louis came out and dominated much of the game against the Minnesota Wild. Despite all that, they could not win the game when the final horn sounded.
St. Louis pummeled the net with shots, many of which were actual good scoring chances this time. They hustled, they fought (not literally, sadly) a put their heart into this game.
Unfortunately, it was not enough as a somewhat cheap play ended up in the back of the net to end things. Sadly, that is just how things go in sports.
I still contend, as exciting as it can be, that 3v3 hockey is ridiculous. No other sport changes their format so much in an attempt to get a winner. Perhaps I am in the minority. Anyway, let’s discuss the pros and cons.
Jake Allen returned to form.
One night after both Blues goaltenders looked human at best and somewhat poor at worst, Allen righted his personal ship. The Snake was spectacular in net.
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In the second period alone, he stopped several odd-man rushes and breakaways. Allen pretty much kept the Blues in the game while they were still trying to find their offense and down by a goal.
The first goal of the game was pure luck. Minnesota had no business scoring the way they did, but the puck luck was on their side and they took a one goal lead. If not for that, Jake probably wins the game for the Blues.
If Allen was superb, Dubnyk was superhuman. Sometimes it takes a good effort by one goaltender to pull one out of the other. So for that, maybe we thank Dubnyk.
However, in this instance, we can tip our cap and still mutter some curses under our breath.
While the Blues had 40 shots against the Kings, they were not quality chances. Many of the shots against Minnesota were. Dubnyk stopped 41 of 42 shots. His save in OT sprang the Wild down the ice for their own game-winning goal as well.
It’s fine to give him credit. It just seems like the Blues always run into these guys when they find their game instead of while they’re down.
Another power play goal for the Berg-dog.
Patrik Berglund has plenty to catch up on. He still is not playing anywhere near what he can, or even what the Blues need from him.
Still, he’s played in three games and scored two power play goals.
Again, this goal goes back to something discussed after the Kings game. The Blues need to do more of what is ACTUALLY successful, instead of what they think will be.
Berglund just snapped a shot from the circle and it went in. There was no one-touch, tic-tac-toe passing or a fancy backhanded scoop shot. It was just a chance on net that went in. We have to see more of that, especially on the power play.
From Berglund’s perspective, it has to be nice to get a couple early ones under your belt. He has to know he’s not up to game speed, no matter what condition he’s in. Good to keep that confidence with some goals though.
Too many rushes against.
St. Louis got away with a lot in this game. If not for Allen, this one could have easily been 2 or 3-0 before the Blues even scored.
The problem seems to be an odd one too. It’s not always careless passes or lack of effort, but it’s just not seeing things before they happen.
St. Louis has the best of intentions and it just goes wrong. Whether it’s losing board battles or long, east-west passes, they have to be more certain before they try things.
Especially on the power play. Giving up shorthanded rush after rush is just not going to cut it.
Dominated the stats again.
This one was not fool’s gold like the night before. The Blues actually won important faceoffs. They actually had good shots as part of their total.
St. Louis got outhit, but whether we like it or not, the days of gritty, physical play might be done anyway.
1/5 is not cutting the mustard on the power play, but a goal is better than none. Keeping the Wild off the board with their three power plays is a step in the right direction as well.
You lost the game.
We can sugarcoat it all we want, but in the end, a divisional opponent got two points and you only got one. That’s just not a good situation.
Terry Yake, on the radio intermission, said he is more concerned with keeping a large gap between the Blues and the number nine seeded team. I agree completely, so the point helps.
Still, you lost. Whether I want to blame it on a lame overtime setup or you want to blame it on poor back checking, the Blues lost.
It’s not the worst result in the world. You’d much rather a game like this than the one against the Kings. You can’t throw a point away like it’s completely meaningless.
It just stings a little bit when you outplay an inferior team and they get a slightly cheap goal at the end. Take no credit away from the Wild. They hustled on that play until the end. You can’t deny there was a bit of luck as opposed to skill on both Wild goals though and that sits rather sour in the mouth.
It was a good bounceback.
Just 24 hours ago, I said I’d be fine with a loss if they played better. Can’t really go back on that, I suppose.
In seriousness, it is very sour but the game itself was enjoyable and that’s a big component. Additionally, the Blues showed themselves they can play well again.
Now, they get a couple days off and face a struggling Montreal team on Wednesday. Hopefully they get back in the win column there, since they did not get what they deserved from this one.