St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 68 Against L.A.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Vince Dunn
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Vince Dunn /

The St. Louis Blues faced as close to a must-win scenario in Los Angeles as it gets without the possibility of being mathematically eliminated. They answered the bell.

Just when you thought it was safe to give up on the St. Louis Blues, they show some signs of life. With the prospect of being essentially eliminated from the playoffs, baring some miracle, the Blues finally played like the team we saw at the beginning of the season.

St. Louis came out and showed some fight (not literally), some jump and some emotion. They looked like they were enjoying playing hockey again.

They finally scored the first goal of the game, which has not happened much lately. The Blues did not sit on their laurels either. That was probably the most important thing.

The Blues got things going in the first period with a goal from Robert Bortuzzo. It probably should have been stopped, but some luck is what St. Louis needed at this point.

The second goal came from Colton Parayko as he unleashed a slapper. The third goal was from Alex Pietrangelo. The fourth was from Ivan Barbashev. The fifth came from Vladimir Tarasenko. Then there was a six from Kyle Brodziak and a seventh from Jaden Schwartz.

Sandwiched in there was a goal for Los Angeles, but the Blues never let their foot off the gas for more than a moment or two through the first two periods.

It was good to see them play well as a unit. It was good to see them appear as though they enjoyed the game again.


Some of the most embattled players gave the doubters the middle finger.

In recent times guys like Jake Allen, Pietrangelo, Tarasenko and more have taken the brunt of the frustration from Blues fans. Plenty of it was warranted.

However in this game, they all stuck it right back in our faces. Allen carried over his good performance in San Jose and made some big saves. The first period was possibly his best, but he was solid throughout.

Tarasenko has had his effort and heart questioned a lot, simply because he’s trying too hard to lift his team up. Today he looked looser and scored. Granted, it was not in crunch time, but he’s streaky. One goal might be all he needs to spring him for the rest of the season.

Schwartz has been given a lot of leeway, given his injury, but even that was wearing out. His goal now gives him 20 and St. Louis finally has three 20 goal scorers on the team this season – something that seemed like it would happen months ago given the way the team started.

Pietrangelo has taken the worst of the criticism. People have said to take away the C, trade him, cut him, called him spineless and worse. This game alone will not change a ton of minds, but we saw the old Pietrangelo out there.

He was putting pucks on net and looking sharp in his defensive positioning. It was a lot more similar to the play that made him a Norris candidate early in the year than what we saw the last few months.


The Blues put themselves in a bad spot in the beginning.

When St. Louis opened the game, they really made it hard on themselves. They scored the early goal, but they took two early penalties as well.

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The one called against Tarasenko was questionable at best, but it was called. St. Louis forced themselves to be shorthanded far too often in those early stages.

In fact, the Blues had to put out their special teams unit before they even had a chance to get all four lines a shift. That’s not how you want to start a game.

You spend too much energy trying to keep the other team off the board. You also don’t allow your scoring players to get into a grove.

Clearly, the Blues overcame this but it was another example of them not getting off to the best of starts even when scoring.


The Blues offense came to life.

Six goals seems to be a number the Blues like. It was the sixth time they’ve scored that many in one game – ok they scored seven in this one but the stat is still interesting. Hopefully they saved some in the tank for the rest of the season because the last couple times they’ve scored six, they’ve gone dry after.

Still, it was great to see the offensive play beyond just the goals themselves. The Blues were putting pucks on net from dangerous spots on the ice.

The Blues were crashing the net and getting into the dirtier areas of the rink. They were flying around and playing with speed. That might be the brightest thing out of this all.

The Blues are not the fleetest of foot in a true speed race. However, you play fast when you are on your game and on your toes. The Blues have looked slow because they are not fast and they’ve played flat footed or on their heels. That was not the case in this game.

Overall Thoughts:

The Blues kept themselves in the race.

As mentioned, a loss today would have basically eliminated St. Louis. They would have fallen six points behind the Kings for the eighth playoff spot.

Instead, they are now just two points behind Los Angeles and three points behind Colorado, who also won.

Are they likely to make the playoffs? At this stage, no. It’s more of an uphill climb than anything, but at least it’s not impossible.

There are plenty of fans out there saying to tank and go for draft status etc. Even at my lowest, you’ll never convince me that is a good thing.

Next: Blues Late Season Prospect Update

The Blues don’t have a championship team, but hockey is hockey. I’ll take playoff hockey over an extra month of talking about who to draft or who they should trade for.

This game might be an aberration. They might implode against Anaheim. However, it was fun to watch and that’s why we want to watch. We want to have fun watching the team we love.

They enjoyed being on the ice. They enjoyed playing with each other. The Blues looked like an actual team again.