St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 40 Against Dallas

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 29: Jake Allen
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 29: Jake Allen /

The St. Louis Blues entire month of December was encapsulated in one game on Friday night. The ups and downs finished in an awful result for the Note down in Big D.

The St. Louis Blues continue to swoon in December. No matter what they try or how well they seem to play, it just is not good enough right now.

The Blues came out against the Dallas Stars with a lot riding on a late December game. The Blues were trying to keep their streak against Dallas alive. They were trying to end an extremely poor run of play in the last month of the calendar year as well.

Neither would happen. The Blues lost the game in one of the most disheartening ways we have seen in a long time.

The Blues had a very good first period, but like the game against the Nashville Predators, they came away with nothing to show for it. The Blues then gave up the first goal of the game, which seems like a death sentence for the Blues these days.

St. Louis did manage to fight back though. They scored two goals in quick succession to take a 2-1 lead in the third period.

The Blues then saw three unanswered goals go into their net – one being an empty netter. There were plenty of circumstances that played a large part in those goals, but the bottom line is the Blues failed to get it done…again.

This is a team struggling to figure out its identity when they seemed to know exactly who and what they were at the beginning of the season.


The power play is just atrocious.

We have gone over this time and time again. The Blues power play is like a broken record in the worst way. They failed to score on four power play opportunities, including a lengthy five on three man advantage.

What was so frustrating is that the book is clearly out on the Blues. I have never seen a three man penalty kill pressure a team as much as Dallas did. So, the entire league has to know that the Blues cannot react to the defenders coming out to cut off lanes.

The Blues either hold on to the puck way too long, make poor passing decisions or miss the net entirely on their shots. I try my best not to deal in hyperbole, but it honestly feels like there are ECHL teams that would be more likely to score on these power plays than the Blues are.

Jokes are all fine on Twitter during the game, but it has reached the point where this team would actually be better served if they did not have a power play the rest of the season.


Vladimir Tarasenko finally snapped one in.

The Blues’ best scorer had only had one assist in his previous five games and just did not look like his normal, confident self. He finally broke out of his shell in the third period.

Tarasenko broke into the zone and took the puck over to the left circle. It came off a turnover and he made the Stars pay.

It was a typical Vlady goal that snapped past the blocker. It was just the type of goal that he needed.

We can only hope that it was the goal that will break him out of his slump and he can go on a run. Goodness knows the Blues need it.


The refs are terrible.

All night long, the refs called this game about as inconsistently as they could.

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Colton Parayko got interfered with and there was no call. Paul Stastny got roughed up and got a penalty called on him for a normal hockey scrum. Robert Bortuzzo got called for a weak slash or hook right after Brayden Schenn got checked from behind.

The worst was the call against Joel Edmundson at the end of the game. There is nothing wrong with the official calling that a penalty if the entire game had been called that way. However, when you let Dallas get away with all sorts of things (the Blues too on occasion) and then you call some very ticky-tac BS penalties, then fans have a hard time stomaching it.

The Stars were basically gifted an opportunity to win the game by the officials. They took advantage of it, so credit goes to them.

The refs did not lose this game, make no mistake. The Blues put themselves in this spot. However, the officiating is just awful right now. These guys should not even be reffing at the AHL level.


Tage Thompson continues to look like an NHL player right now.

You can call the goal he scored luck, and you would not be totally wrong. Most goaltenders will stop a shot from that distance.

Still, his confidence is growing and he’s starting to look a lot more comfortable in the NHL. He is still doing a lot of reverse moves, but they are with more purpose rather than doing it for the sake of it.

He’s getting stronger on the puck and making decisive passes and shots. Thompson has a long way to go before we know what kind of pro he will be for the long haul, so there’s no need to get too excited. If he can continue on this upward trend, though, he’s going to be a solid player on this team for the foreseeable future.


The Blues continue to find ways to screw things up.

You fight, claw and scratch your way into this game and then just toss it right back. Not only do you lose a game, but you lose to another divisional opponent, putting the Stars within three points of you.

Despite what the usual twits will say, Jake Allen played a solid game and you waste it again. You give him no help and actually play a part in his injury by knocking the Dallas player into him.

There was no talk about backside help when Carl Gunnarsson got caught up ice on the Stars first goal.

For as well as he played, Allen had his faults too. He should have been told to pass it somewhere else instead of making the play that eventually led to a turnover on the tying goal.

On the game winner, he got caught cheating off his post too. You have to see around the player since nobody wants to clear out the front of the net, but it was bad luck that he looked the wrong way at the exact time the shot came.

Overall Thoughts:

It was a sickening loss.

The team has played worse, but perhaps that is why it is so frustrating. They showed the ability to win this game and threw it away.

It has been a long time since I have yelled at the television, but this game brought it out. The power play makes you want to unleash the most vile string of obscenities possible and it took a minute of calming down not to let that bleed into this article.

Next: Blues Special Teams Going In Opposite Directions

There are a couple things for this team to build off of, but we are long past the point of really taking positives from losses. Given the way December has gone, you’d rather play awfully and win than vice versa.

The Blues have to find a way to get things on track. They are making a habit of having very poor winters the past two years. There is no coaching change coming to spark them this year. The players have to get their heads out of their rears and make it happen.