St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 51 Against Colorado

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 25: Vladimir Tarasenko
ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 25: Vladimir Tarasenko /

The St. Louis Blues always manage to make games a little more interesting than they need to. They went into the All-Star break on a good note though.

The St. Louis Blues took on the Colorado Avalanche for the second time in 2017-18. The end result was quite similar to the first, but it was another back and forth affair.

The Blues seem to always have a way to make games a little closer than they really need to be. However, if you’re ahead when the final buzzer sounds, that’s all you can really ask for.

That was exactly what happened with the Blues. After beating Colorado 4-3 back in October, the Blues took down the Avalanche 3-1 this time.

Despite looking like the better team for much of the game, the Blues could never put Colorado away. The Avs kept pushing back, with an impressive drive toward the net in the third period.

Fortunately a combination of the Blues defense and some good goaltending from Carter Hutton was able to hold down the fort at the end of the game.

This was an important win because it gives the Blues a little breathing room within the division, even if other teams continue to hold games in hand.


The return of Jaden Schwartz.

We almost saw the power of the Schwartz as the returning hero had a couple chances to actually score a goal. That would have been a heck of a return.

Regardless of scoring or not, Schwartz played a very good game considering he missed 20 games and has only been in full practices for less than a week.

Sadly, Schwartz ended up with no real stats. He played over 18 minutes, which is impressive. He was on the ice for Brayden Schenn‘s power play goal, but was also out there when Colorado scored, so he ended up even in plus/minus.

Regardless of all that though, the team just seemed different. Yes, there were still issues, just like there was at the start of the season. Everyone just feels more like round pegs in round holes when he is in the roster though.


The Blues could not hang onto the shutout.

For the longest time, it seemed like Hutton would pick up his second consecutive shutout and the 11th of his career. Instead, the Avs scored a goal in the second period to cut the Blues lead in half.

From then on, the game hung by a thread. The Blues would take command and the Avs would push back. Colorado would pressure and the Blues would find a late escape route.

The Blues did not play bad defense at all. However, they were allowing way too much pressure on their net.

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Colorado managed 37 shots and Hutton turned aside 36 of them. Even so, despite the push, the Blues could very well have put up that goose egg again.


Schenn continues to find his form from earlier in the year.

Every player goes through a lull where they don’t play as well. Schenn’s happened to coincide with Schwartz’ injury, whether they were truly related or just coincidence.

He seemed to have a little more jump now that Schwartz was back on his wing, but he has been playing well regardless. Schenn now has goals in four straight games and points in five of his last six.

His goal on this night was no fluke either. It was just a nice ripper past the goaltender on the power play.

If he can continue this run for the rest of the season, the team’s offense might find it’s way back to what they looked like at the start of the year.


The Blues kept trying to make the pretty play.

This has been something that has gone on for years, but had clear cut examples in this game. St. Louis continues to attempt making that final pass when a shot would have been much better.

Late in the game, the Blues had a 3-on-1 break and got no shot. Their next time down the ice it was a 1-on-1, but the defender had no stick. Still no shot.

When you get those kinds of opportunities, you have to bury them. At the very least, you have to make the goaltender make a save.

For whatever reason, the Blues resembled NASCAR cars racing past a soda can. They just kept overskating or dusting off the puck, etc.


The power play looked like an NHL power play.

Credit goes to Schwartz returning. His presence on the ice seemed to put everyone in a better mood.

That said, the power play stunk even when he was on it prior to his injury, so he can’t take all the credit. The Blues simply looked like a real NHL power play.

They made quick decisions, good passes and took shots. They were rewarded for it too.

Paul Stastny‘s goal to open the game and Schenn’s goal later both came on the power play. The Blues went 2-3 on the man advantage and looked quite good even on the one where they did not score.

Now, this is not cause for celebration because the Blues had a good look a week ago and then returned to playing awful after that. Still, this was a good start and hopefully they take this into and out of the break.

Overall Thoughts:

A feel good performance from a solid win.

While there was still plenty to dislike in certain areas, the Blues just had a solid performance overall. It was a good game for so many guys.

Hutton shined again. Schwartz looked good having so much time off. Schenn is surging back to being one of the team’s best as well.

It was fitting Schenn scored again, netting his 50th point on the very night that Brett Hull scored his 50th goal in 50 games back in 1991.

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Additionally to the good performance within this win, the Blues kept pace in the division. They stayed two points behind Nashville and gave themselves some room to breathe too. Dallas lost, so the Blues now have a three point lead for the final guaranteed spot within the division.

Now, the team can get a little rest with a few days off for the All-Star break. Only Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo are playing, so the rest of the team can relax and prepare mentally for the final push in February and on.