The St. Louis Blues don’t always manage to get things done and that has been true during their western Canadian road trip. Fortunately, they were able to salvage something at the end.
Leave it to the St. Louis Blues to save something until the end. After what has been an all but disastrous road trip through Canada, the Blues finally picked up a win out in Vancouver.
St. Louis, as is their way, did not play a perfect game or even close. However, they picked up a win on the road and can come home for Christmas feeling a bit better about themselves.
Wins in Vancouver have been a little hard to come by of late. This was only the team’s third win in Vancouver since 2013-14.
This game won’t go on the highlight reel when all is said and done. Still, you pick up two points and play well enough to deserve the win, then you can pick your head up and be happy with it.
Mike Yeo continues to show confidence in Tage Thompson.
The Blues coach probably has his favorites, but it is much harder to put a finger on them than in recent past. Most of the guys he rewards are guys that are earning things.
Still, even though he has earned the time, Thompson is being shown a good deal of confidence by the team. It is being shown in time on the ice.
The youngster had over 15 minutes of game time and even featured on the power play.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if any of that is cut. He was on the ice during the Canucks’ goal.
However, you can’t blame him. It was a bad turnover deep in the zone while he was almost out of the zone.
The Blues were sloppy again.
It did not show up in the stats, but the team just did not look crisp the entire game. There were flashes here and there, but they still were not clicking the way you’d like every shift.
Officially, the Blues only had two giveaways. That’s very good.
Again, the stats don’t always tell the entire story. Just because Vancouver did not end up with the puck to make it a giveaway does not mean the passes all hit their marks.
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The Canucks’ goal was a prime example. You cannot turn it over in that dangerous of an area. Sadly, it was another night that Jake Allen should have had a shutout and it was taken from him by one or two careless plays.
Patrik Berglund continues his rise back from injury.
Of all the players that have returned from injury, Berglund has probably done the best job the quickest. He scored the first goal of the game last night.
That goal gives him three goals in his last six games and five overall. Not great numbers, but in 14 games it is not too bad.
It should be said that the goal was somewhat weak from the Canucks’ standpoint. You expect goaltenders to stop a backhanded shot from the high slot.
However, you do praise Berglund for showing the strength to muscle his way free and also take the shot. Those are the goals that should be showing the Blues the benefits of simply putting pucks on goal.
You cannot score by not taking shots. Even if he intended for it only to be a rebound, it ended up with something positive.
The Blues failed to convert several chances and it almost cost them.
The Blues managed to get the win, but they should have been sailing through this one. Instead, due to some smart goaltending and failed conversions, they were biting their nails.
Steen’s was the worst for two reasons. Firstly, it was a full break and one you’d expect him to end up putting away. Secondly, it was not long before the Canucks ended up tying the game.
So, instead of being up by two goals, it was a square game. Fortunately, he made up for it with the empty net goal to seal the deal.
The Blues should have had more goals, but a win is all we need right now.
As fans, we always want to see goals and domination. The Blues did enough to have probably four or five goals by the time the final horn sounded.
Instead, they had to settle for two through the run of play and then the empty net goal. Beggars can’t be choosers when you’re on a three game losing streak though.
The Blues will easily take the win and run home quickly. They need this holiday break quite a bit.
We can only hope that a few days off with no mind on hockey will do them some good. From our own perspective, we have to sit and wait to hear any word about Alex Pietrangelo.
He finished the game, but took more shots to the foot. That has been a recipe for disaster of late, so cross your fingers, grab some lucky rabbit’s feet and say whatever prayers you need. The Blues don’t want or need another win soured by more injury.