St. Louis Blues: Kyle Brodziak’s San Jose “Penalty” Could Prove Costly

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 16: Kyle Brodziak
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 16: Kyle Brodziak /

The St. Louis Blues have gone on a small run in their road trip through California. A small penalty in the first game of the trip could prove costly to their season.

As fans of the St. Louis Blues, we tend to become fixated on the larger picture. How many goals do you have or what is your save percentage? Are you a good leader or what trades are to be made?

Sometimes, it is the smallest incident that can have a profound influence on how a season turns out. We get so caught up in other things, we gloss over these moments.

However, a “penalty” called against Kyle Brodziak in the March 8 game in San Jose could very well be a big factor as to whether the Blues make the playoffs or not. It seemed insignificant at the time, but is looking quite different after the team’s road trip.

When the Blues lost to the Sharks 2-0, the play seemed to have little meaning. It was just another in a string of disappointing performances after the Blues failed to score a goal.

Fans were losing hope. The playoffs seemed out of reach anyway, so why bother making a fuss?

Things change in a hurry in professional sports. The Blues offense came to life in the warmer climate of southern California.

St. Louis went on to win their two remaining games of the trip. They decimated the L.A. Kings 7-2 and took the Anaheim Ducks to task 4-2.

Now, suddenly, the Blues have hope once again. They are right back in the playoff picture. However, the San Jose result takes on a lot more meaning with as tight as everything is.

With the California trip over, the Blues still sit outside of the playoff picture. They currently trail the Kings by two points, the Dallas Stars by three points and the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks by one point.

Those are all margins that can be overcome. The Blues still have two games against Colorado and one against San Jose. If you win all of those, you potentially push yourself ahead of both if they are in the wild card mix.

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However, the fact they remain one or two points behind shines a spotlight on that San Jose game. A bogus penalty could actually keep the Blues from the playoffs.

For those that missed the game, the contest was scoreless in the third period. Brodziak was then whistled for holding the stick about halfway through the period.

The problem was there was no hold. The San Jose player shot it into the zone and on the follow through, his stick got caught under the arm of Brodziak. There was no intent by Brodziak to hold and the stick was barely there for a full second, if it even was.

It hightlights how different everything can look depending on your position on the ice. It also highlights how wrong NHL officials have been this year and need definite improvement. Hockey is probably the hardest sport to officiate, with all the moving parts, but when calls like this start affecting the larger scheme of things, it hurts.

Many will correctly make the point that the Blues did not score in the game and they wasted some of their own opportunities. That is very true.

However, the importance of scoring the first goal has been magnified for St. Louis this year. St. Louis is 30-6-2 when scoring first and a measly 7-21-3 when not.

If that penalty does not get called, maybe the Blues find a way to score the first goal. It seems unlikely given the Bues only had two third period shots, but you never know.

At the very least, the Blues might have gotten the game into overtime. That gets them a point and has them currently tied with Anaheim and Colorado instead of a point behind.

Next: Blues Can Still Save Their Season

Again, the Blues cost themselves by not getting the job done in that game and in the third quarter of the season. Still, it sticks in the craw to think a penalty that should never have been called could very well keep the Blues out of the playoffs.

The team cannot dwell on this, but fans are perfectly able to do so. The Blues have to focus on continuing to win games now, but we can all look at the past.

I’m sure that an entire season is littered with these moments that can be pointed out as proving costly. We remember what is most current though and right now that “penalty” against Brodziak in San Jose has the spotlight shining brightly on it.