The St. Louis Blues continued their downward spiral as they dropped points in Dallas. It was not as bad as it could have been, but that’s beyond the point right now.
It seems like every time the St. Louis Blues have an opportunity to gain some ground in the playoff race, it just does not happen right now. The Blues had jump and energy and came out hard. By the end of the game, they looked like flies – only there for the annoyance of the Dallas Stars.
St. Louis came out and played a decent first period. They outshot Dallas and kept the game scoreless.
The Blues looked more like the team we knew in the first half of the season. They limited the Stars’ chances, holding them to only six first period shots.
Then, the game kept flowing and the Blues allowed the first goal of the game in the second period. The Blues record when not scoring first is pretty awful, so it was a bad omen from there.
The Blues did manage to tied the game up in the second. Once again, it was a good effort goal by driving the net and being available for a rebound.
There were not enough rebound chances in the first period. So, it was good to see the Blues capitalize on one in the second.
Wonders failed to cease when the Blues actually took a lead in the third period. It was a fantastic single-handed effort by Jaden Schwartz that gave the team the lead.
St. Louis managed to keep that lead until the final three minutes of the game. That’s when the wheels fell off.
The Blues went into panic mode for some reason. They allowed the Stars to tie the game with 2:57 left in regulation. Then, Dallas appeared to take the lead late in the contest. The Blues were bailed out by a kicked in goal, but it set the tempo.
The Blues played terribly in overtime, turning the puck over constantly. The Stars eventually cashed in and the Blues were forced to settle for one point.
Brayden Schenn continues to amaze.
By this point in the season, we should not be surprised by anything Schenn does. However, given how this season has turned out for so many guys, it is good to see someone still giving their all.
Schenn is not just your average scorer. He’s a do-it-all kind of guy willing to put himself out there for whatever the team needs.
If he needs to score, he can. Schenn does other things too and we saw much of it in this game.
He was good on the dot, winning 54% of his draws. He played power play time and shorthanded. Schenn led all Blues forwards in ice time and was second only to the captain overall.
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Beyond that, he can get physical. We saw him get in a fight weeks ago, but he was throwing his body into hits in this game. He also jawed with scumbag Dallas captain Jamie Benn after he roughed up a helpless Alex Pietrangelo well behind the play.
Those are the intangibles you want to see from your leaders. Schenn might not have a letter on his chest, but he’s leading by example. He sticks up for teammates, performs on the ice and just does all the little things. If we had 10 Schenn’s to go along with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, this team would be a championship contender.
The Blues were made to pay for just about every mistake.
St. Louis allowed the first goal again. Their lead against Detroit was the first they’d had in six games and they could not find another one early in this game.
The issue was the Blues were playing OK up to that point. It was a poor pass on a Blues three-on-two that led to the breakout pass.
Yes, you could make the case it was blind luck, but the end result was a breakaway and the Blues could do nothing about it.
You could argue that Carter Hutton could have done more, but I’m tired of this goaltending issue. The bottom line is he should not have had to face a breakaway and, at best, a goaltender has a 50/50 chance and Hutton got the wrong side of the coin.
On the tying goal, it was minor mistakes that still led to the goal. The Blues allowed Dallas to come off the wall with a between the legs move. The Blues were scrambling after one of their own almost took a puck to the face and then Pietrangelo was a step too slow to cover the goal scorer.
St. Louis is just not good enough to be perfect every game. They have to figure out a way for every mistake to not lead to a breakaway or goal.
Jaden Schwartz’ goal.
There was not a bunch of dangles. There were no tic-tac-toe passes that led to it. You’ll see a bunch better scores on the highlight reels at the end of the season. Despite all that, this was an absolutely fantastic goal.
It was all Schwartz and nothing but Schwartz. He basically took the puck up the left wing, coast to coast, and snuck it in the short side.
The Stars’ goaltender should have had that covered, but that takes nothing away from the pure effort of Schwartz. The goal was simply a reward for all that work.
The Blues absolutely needed something like that. You would like to see that kind of drive from someone like Tarasenko, but getting it from Schwartz is good enough.
The Blues need individuals to step up just like this. You cannot have it be nothing but individual efforts, but sometimes you need someone to put the team on their shoulders.
The Blues crapped the bed in the last few minutes.
An issue that the Blues have had this season, win or lose, is they seem to panic in the final minutes of a game. They fail to score on empty nets, they let other teams dominate possession and they cannot seem to stay on their skates.
They scramble around like a bunch of pee-wee players and there have been times that might be insulting to pee-wee hockey players.
Instead of looking like a confident team, ready to take all two points from this game, the Blues played like a team that knew a tying goal was coming. It was as if they knew the future and still tried in vain to stop the inevitable.
Then, in overtime, they turned the puck over more times than the entire 60 minutes previous. There was miscommunication on the game winning goal, but it was just more examples of the Blues finding a way to fail rather than succeed.
This game will turn your hair gray.
The Blues could have and should have won this game. That is to take nothing away from Dallas, who kept plugging away.
St. Louis played well enough to get the victory though. If you don’t play like a bunch of scared mice in the final moments of the game, you avoid overtime and just win the game. While it was overturned, it seemed for a moment that the Blues had blown this game in regulation. Instead, they got to overtime before they failed to do anything.
Instead, the Blues continue to bleed points. It was not the full four point swing, but at this point the eighth seed is about the Blues only hope. They are falling so far behind everything else that the playoffs are seeming like an empty promise made at the start of the year.
People try to keep saying at least they got a point. At this juncture, who cares? Yes, it’s better to have the point than not. However, it’s still a loss.
The Blues got a point against Nashville, but blowing a three goal lead did not make it worth it. The Blues should have had a win here and messed it up.
The Blues did have to deal with more injury, but it’s no excuse. The guys on the ice were just not good enough.
Patrik Berglund said he learned his lesson from being benched. He was invisible almost the entire game again.
The Blues need some sort of reality check. They’ve had time off, they’ve changed their lines and they’ve put guys in the press box. None of it seems to work.