The St. Louis Blues took on the Nashville Predators for the final time this season. The Blues have to hope it is the final time ever after how the game went.
The St. Louis Blues continue to try and figure out what their problem is for this season. The way the game started, they came no closer to finding any solutions.
The Blues came out for the second game in a row with a decent amount of jump. They could not translate that into any positive offensive opportunities though.
Despite the energy, the Blues spent much of that energy trying to defend. Then, the worst happened – the Blues allowed the first goal of the game.
There was little Jake Allen could do on either goal scored against him in the first period, but it definitely did not give the team much confidence.
As usual, the Blues had shots on goal but many were from distance and they had almost no second chance opportunities.
The Blues allowed the first goal against again.
You had a sense something bad would happen, but kept hoping it would not. The Blues were getting hemmed in a little too much but were defending well.
That came to a close once Nashville broke them down. The Blues were shorthanded, but failed to track the backdoor pass, which is becoming the most common pass in the league. Why you would leave that man open is a little baffling.
The shot was basically unstoppable. Allen haters will come up with some ungodly reason he should have stopped it, but it hit the top net, which is about as close to unstoppable as you get.
The defending is just terrible.
This one is an offshoot of the above points. Still, it bears repeating.
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The first goal, you could almost give them a pass for being shorthanded. Still, when you watch the wide angle, Kyle Brodziak goes to the middle of the ice, which was already defended instead of following the backdoor play. That allowed the shooter to pick his spot.
The second goal, there was absolutely no communication among the Blues. Brayden Schenn was actually guarding the pass, but Jay Bouwmeester did not know. So, Bouwmeester played the pass as well, which allowed Nashville to roof a shot from five feet from goal.
Then the third goal was just as ridiculous. There were two Predators on the edge of the crease while both Blues defenders were not even in the overhead picture. Alex Pietrangelo and Carl Gunnarsson were stumbling over each other about six feet from goal and not even impacting the play.
The fourth goal started with a turnover by Pietrangelo. Despite it was on the power play, it led to a breakaway because nobody had the speed or momentum to get back.
The defending on this team is just awful. Nobody has a clue how to turn anything around at the moment and you can just see the glazed over look in their eyes once anything bad happens.
Throw the goaltending controversy aside for a moment. Put this game in a vacuum and it was not a terrible performance.
Allen kept the Blues in the game in the first period, making some solid saves. His body language was not always the best, but can you blame the guy right now?
What is a goaltender supposed to do? He made the saves he was supposed to and a couple he might not have on a worse day.
Of course, the negative is that you can tell he is still not on his game. There was not much to be done on the first three goals, but the fourth he needed to come out. Instead of being confident and making a play on the puck, he hesitated and waited and got scored on.
Allen was more confident in the third and came out on a similar play, again that was short handed.
People that want to hate will hate and say he did nothing offensively. That is true. Nobody scored a goal, so his offensive play only went so far.
He did what I, personally, wanted to see. He provided a spark.
Soshnikov was probably the Blues best player all game. He threw hits, he took the body and he skated with some jump. Clearly the losing streak has not gotten to him yet since he was the only player continually patting Allen on the pads and playing with some heart.
The fact that Soshnikov was the team’s best player is a negative because he’s not going to be your best player going forward. However, for now it was good to see a fresh face with a fresh perspective out there even if it did not bleed into the team.
The Blues don’t have a clue.
These writeups are getting harder and harder to write and not feel like it is a copy/paste job. It’s game after game, even when they have won, where it’s the same issue over and over.
Players are not skating, getting caught flat-footed and making bad decisions. The goaltending continues to be a hotly discussed issue, but if you cannot score then it does not matter if you have the reincarnation of Patrick Roy in goal.
This team has no clue about how to turn things around. Everything is a reaction to what is going on around them instead of taking the game to the opponent.
The Blues are only capable of pressing for the first couple minutes and if they do not score they slink back into their dark hole.
At this point, who knows what this team needs. Trades are not likely and would only help so much. If this is how the team supports each other, then the prospects being brought up will only help so much as well.
A perfect example of the Blues issues was a 3-on-2 in the third period. Visually, it was the best attack the team had and they did not even get a shot off because they kept passing. They shoot when they should pass and vice versa
When your captain is a minus-3 and the cause of one goal and only paying lip service in the media then you are like a canoe without a paddle. There is no direction for this team. Only the players on the ice can turn it around by showing a little professional pride.