St. Louis Blues: Pros And Cons From Game 78 Against Arizona

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 29: Head coach Mike Yeo of the St Louis Blues looks on from the bench during a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on March 29, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 29: Head coach Mike Yeo of the St Louis Blues looks on from the bench during a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on March 29, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Blues entered their final game with Arizona with a lot on the line. Instead, the Blues laid an egg, literally and figuratively.

The St. Louis Blues needed to come out with a big result against the Arizona Coyotes. St. Louis was using up one of their games in hand on the Pacific Division teams, so gaining points was paramount.

What we got, instead, was one of the worst games of the season and a result reminiscent of the Blues of the winter. This game did not put them below the playoff line, but it puts a hell of a lot of pressure on the final four games.

St. Louis came out with a decent amount of energy. They got good goaltending to start the game, but everything just sort of went south from the initial puck drop.

The Blues just never really got some good offensive flow generated and their defense was not bad initially, but just seemed to slip. It was a night that nothing seemed to work out for St. Louis.

The Blues managed several offensive flurries, but could not slip one past the goaltender. Jake Allen made some good saves early, but the team was not responding. Mike Yeo tried a goaltending change for momentum reasons and it changed nothing. It was just not the Blues day.

Pros:

Chris Thorburn sticking up for his teammates.

Thorburn has gotten his share of grief from the fans this season. Much of it was simply because he did not measure up to fan-favorite Ryan Reaves.

As the season has progressed, especially in the last couple games, Thorburn has shown his worth. He scored the goal that earned St. Louis a point against Vegas and provided one of the few bright spots of the evening in Arizona.

After Vladimir Tarasenko had been cut with a high stick but gained no power play and Scottie Upshall was knocked down, Thorburn stepped up. He fought Luke Schenn and, though we’re biased, seemed to get the best of scrap too.

Cons:

The constant push leading to nothing but heartache.

Normally, you’d give credit to the Blues for continually jamming at the goal. However there were at least two plays where the Blues had numbers around the net, failed to score and immediately gave up a goal.

No one player is at fault here, but it is extremely frustrating. You can blame who or what you want, but that just shows when it is not your night that you can come so close to scoring and turning the game around only to have it thrown back in your face with extra egg on it.

When you are trying to come back, there will always be defensive holes. There were just far too many breaks in on the Blues goal though.

Pros:

Allen’s composure at the start.

The Snake was playing in his 12th consecutive game, which was a career high. You could tell he was not quite the same goaltender we’d seen throughout this run, but he played well at the start of the game.

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He was showing signs of the Allen that had garnered so much confidence early in his career. One save in particular, a glove save from the left side, showed his calm demeanor in spite of the furor going on around him.

Allen was, again, strong in his movements but not overskating. His positioning was good and he was fairly solid. The team just did not give him enough help.

Cons:

The goaltending after 15 minutes.

I fully admit to being biased in favor of goaltenders. So, take these things with a grain of salt, but I do not fully blame either Allen or Carter Hutton for any of the goals.

That said, if you’re going to praise Allen’s composure at the start, it is fair to point out his failings on the two goals.

Allen was screened on the first goal, so he was late to react, but given the distance of the shot, you’d expect him to stop it.

Similarly, you’d like Allen to stop the Coyotes second goal as well. The shot was well placed, but Allen was more than capable of making the save. It was just a night where he was a split second too slow.

Hutton had no more luck either. He allowed four goals on 19 shots. Some of his goals were stoppable under better circumstances, but it just was not to be.

Cons:

St. Louis cannot stem the bleeding again.

Losing is bad enough when so much is on the line, but to get embarrassed is another matter. Arizona is a much better team than their record suggests, but the saying goes you are what your record says you are.

The Coyotes have the worst record in the conference and the Blues got outhustled, outplayed and outclassed. One of the awful things going on during their losing spells was the inability to stop things. It happened again in this one.

I realize you eventually get to a point where the score does not matter, but you have to show some pride and play for your goaltender. Allowing six goals without a response, no matter how well the opposing goaltender is going, just should not happen.

Three was understandable. Four is what it is. Beyond that, you have to find a way to take care of things defensively even if you know the game is lost.

Overall Thoughts:

A hard one to watch.

I’ll admit, I took this game more personally than I should have. It was an awful sports day for me, given results in other sporting events, and a Blues win would have raised some spirits.

Instead, they took me when I was down and thrust a swift boot right into the abdomen and then laughed about it. Ok, maybe that’s dramatic, but that’s how it felt. I’m sure it felt pretty sour even to those that don’t follow much else other than the Blues.

Next: Austin Poganski Provides Blues Refreshing Thinking

I really do believe it was just one of those nights where it was a perfect storm against them. The magic ran out, the gas was gone, the goaltening was not there, etc and so on.

If the team does not have a bounce back against Washington, then we worry. For now, let’s hope this was just a bad game. The Blues still control their fate. It’s just unnerving when their fate is in their hands since they have butter fingers at the worst times.