The St. Louis Blues took on the Vegas Golden Knights for the final time in the regular season. There was much on the line, both in scouting and due to action elsewhere in the league.
The St. Louis Blues had a lot to think about in their final regular season game against Vegas. On the one hand, there was a little bit of scouting going on.
If the Blues can finish in the top wild card spot, they will likely face Vegas in the first round of the playoffs. Due to circumstances elsewhere in the league, the Blues also needed to secure at least a point to keep pace.
The Blues got off to a fantastic start to the game. They had a lot of jump and even scored the first goal of the game.
Patrik Berglund fired home a one-time shot after a pretty set up. Unfortunately, things got a little anxious for the rest of the game.
As a game, it was very entertaining. It ended as a back and forth contest with each team having leads.
St. Louis scored first, then Vegas answered with two before the Blues would tie. Vegas scored the lone goal of the second period and the Blues scored early in the third to tie.
Patrik Berglund scored a fantastic goal to open the game.
Some fans will never fully be behind Berglund, but he has been hot of late. He came into the game with three goals in his last five and now has four in his last six.
His goal was the stuff of highlights, not just because of the finish. It was a smooth setup all around, with Berglund the beneficiary of some excellent passing.
Berglund had to be smart enough to get to the quiet area on the ice. The fact that quiet area was the slot, prime scoring real estate, was just the cherry on top.
Berglund played a good all around game.
Shorthanded goal on breakaway.
I’m still astounded that William Karlsson was on the ice where he was. Clearly it is an indication of how sloppy the Blues passing was on their power plays. St. Louis turned the puck over along the boards and suddenly Karlsson had the puck on his stick on a clear breakaway.
There was not much Jake Allen could do since it was a roof shot. You simply cannot allow that to happen when you are up by a man.
You could sense something was coming since the Blues had had a break down the ice prior to this one. The passing was just not crisp and the power plays were more reminiscent of the hapless ones we saw earlier in the season.
The fact that Vegas could sense this enough to have confidence to spring a player almost two zones out is a terrible indicator of the ineptitude of that unit.
Brayden Schenn once more.
This is becoming a regular thing to have Schenn in the pro category. He just continually shows so much out there.
Schenn tied the game up late in the first period. He also gives every ounce of energy.
That part was on display midway through the game. Schenn was on the ice for a 90 second shift. That does not sound long, but it is an eternity in the NHL. Nevertheless, he was almost as effective at the end as the start.
He was also one of only players pressuring the point on the PK. The Blues penalty kill got back into some bad habits of backing off. Schenn continued to pressure the point and cleared the zone because of it.
A lot of standing around in the defensive zone and turnovers.
Officially, the Blues only had seven giveaways. That’s about normal for a high scoring game. However, they continually had bad turnovers in the worst areas of the ice or worst possible times.
One was the Vegas third goal. Instead of just firing it out, Jaden Schwartz turned the puck over just shy of the defensive blue line. That led to some insanely quick passing by Vegas and a sweet back-door goal.
Speaking of actions leading goals, the Blues were completely flat-footed on Vegas’ second goal. The entire five man unit for St. Louis was all standing within five feet of each other. Likely, they could have touched each other’s sticks.
Besides being too close together, they were all standing around watching the puck. There was no attacking of the puck, which allowed Vegas to just pick them apart.
Chris Thorburn ties it.
Once Oskar Sundqvist scored, Thorburn was the only Blues forward yet to score. He ended that and in huge fashion.
Thorburn could not have picked a better moment to score his first goal of the year and first in 82 games. His goal earned the Blues a point that keeps them above the playoff line.
Thorburn has had several games throughout the year where he was actually a very good offensive force. He just had not been rewarded with the goal.
Thorburn took the pick from the corner and showed great patience. He waited until the goaltender spread open the five-hole and then tucked it in. It was a true goal scorer’s goal, even if he is anything but.
A huge point and west coast games suck.
This is twice now that I’ve stayed up late to see these blasted late games and the Blues come up short. That will be the worst thing about a potential playoff series with any western team – the late games.
That said, it stinks to lose. The Blues played well enough in bursts to win. They also did not deserve better since there were just as many things to go wrong throughout the game. So, an overtime loss is about as much as they should have hoped for.
We all knew the winning streak would end sometime. It would have been nice to get more OT than 22 seconds though. The defense just looked done having had to play with five defenders for two periods.
Hopefully the Blues figure out what to do with that. They have a game in less than 24 hours.
For now, the point will satisfy enough of us.