St. Louis Blues Pros And Cons From Game 81 Vs. Philadelphia Flyers

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the St. Louis Blues scores a goal against Brian Elliott #37 of the Philadelphia Flyers at Enterprise Center on April 4, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the St. Louis Blues scores a goal against Brian Elliott #37 of the Philadelphia Flyers at Enterprise Center on April 4, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues offense showed up big time against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the rest of the team’s game that was still a little MIA.

The St. Louis Blues took on the Philadelphia Flyers for the final time in 2018-19. After beating them 3-0 earlier in the season, the Note was going for the season sweep to repay the favor from 2017-18.

Things got off to a frantic start to this game. The Blues scored before playing a full three minutes.

After that, the teams combined for seven goals in seven minutes. During that span, the game was 5-2 in favor of the Blues.

St. Louis got a little lax defensively, though, and there ended up with eight total goals in the first period alone. Most games do not end with a total of eight, let alone one period.

The Blues added a goal late in the second period to push their advantage back to three. After that the game settled in.

St. Louis still had the better of play, for the most part, but you could kind of tell they were looking to take the air out of the game. In the third, Philly seemed fine with that.

Pros: Goals For Days

Going into this game, we said the Blues needed a performance more similar to the ones against Edmonton and Detroit than the ones against New York and Colorado. Offensively, they got just that.

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Ivan Barbashev swatted in the first goal, knocking the puck out of mid air. The Blues were working the passing to good effect and Barbashev got the reward.

Then, they scored a power play goal, which feels like it has become a rare thing though stats tell us otherwise. Ryan O’Reilly tied his career high in goals with 28.

They also got a short handed goal before the Flyers would answer. That is kind of where the wheels got a little loose, but we will cover that in a moment.

All told, the Blues finished with seven goals on the night. Though I was not his biggest fan when he was here, I almost felt bad for Brian Elliott. We have seen that where the defense in front is giving you not help. That’s how it goes, though, and thankfully, the Blues kept their foot on the throat and stomped down.

Alexander Steen got two goals. The team’s top line combined for five points too.

This was just the sort of game they needed to get on a little roll prior to the postseason.

Optional Defending

St. Louis played a really solid game up until they got their third goal of the contest. The problem? That was only 5:33 into the game.

After that, we saw that old Blues team that was not playing terribly, but started getting very loose. The Blues were feeling a little too good about their offensive game and the defensive structure was suffering because of it.

The Flyers first goal was a direct result of a failure to get the puck out of the zone. Oskar Sundqvist was soft on the board battle and Philadelphia got the puck down low quickly for a tap in on the side of the net.

The Blues were not guilty of as many turnovers as we have seen in recent games. In fact, statistically, they were only credited with one turnover.

Still, they were not sharp. Passes were not crisp and often not to their intended target.

Craig Berube was clearly not happy either. They showed him several times on the bench and though he normally has a glowering look, this was past that.

The second goal came off a soft pass around the boards that was intercepted. It was the same thing on the third.

Another soft puck around the wall was knocked down. That led to scramble mode and the Flyers banged one home.

Beyond just allowing three goals to a bad team, it was the timing. If you were up 5-0 and allow a couple, who cares.

When you are up three and you continually allow them back into the game. It might be an uphill climb, but a team thinks they have a chance when the game is only a two goal difference.

It might not have mattered in this game, but the worry is to get into bad habits.

Pros: Alexander Steen

It has been awhile since Alexander Steen has been in this section of my articles. Most of the time, you consider it a good game for him if he is not even mentioned.

In this one, we saw the shades of the Steener that used to be one of the team’s best two-way players and top-five players overall. He was strong, he was quick and he was decisive.

He was also a sniper. Steen picked up two goals in this game, giving the team 13 players with 10 or more goals on the year.

The first one was just pretty. Most of it was about the set up, but it was a clinical finish for Steen on the one-time push shot for a rare shorthanded goal.

The second one was not as photogenic, but who cares. It was a saucy little backhander that snuck in, but they all count. I’m all for sportsmanship, but you need to go for the throat when you can, so adding a late goal was no big deal.

Beyond that, we saw flashes of the player that was once the team’s best defensive forward. He was superb on the penalty kill, which used to be his bread and butter. Steen was not the only reason, but he was a big part of keeping Philadelphia off the board and making them go 0 for 4 with the power play.

Steen got an assist, giving him three points on the night. He also stayed out of the box too. There are plenty worse than him, but he has had a habit of taking ill-timed penalties, so to stay out of the box is important.

The Blues do not play him the amount of minutes they used to, but they will need him in the playoffs. Getting him off to an early start is nothing but good.


Thank goodness the regular season is almost over. I enjoy every game the Blues play, but we are down to the nitty gritty here.

Playing your last games against teams with nothing but pride to play for is worrying. They are still playing for jobs, so you never know if someone is going to go into a hit with too much gusto or try to make a name for themselves dropping the gloves.

Getting out of each game unscathed is the most important thing now. Coming out with a win is more than just a cherry on top, but you need all the ingredients, i.e. healthy players, for this cake to last until June.

The offense was cruising along just fine and that’s what you want against these defensively shaky teams. You don’t go into a game thinking you will get seven, but you should go out there with the intention to score a lot.

The defensive miscues are the only worrying things. The Blues did not play poorly, but we could say that about several games lately.

The problem is mistakes are happening and leading to goals or high percentage chances for the other team. It won’t always cost you against a team like Philadelphia, but mistakes get amplified in the playoffs.

Still, it was important to get back that winning feeling. If this game was not so close to the playoffs, it would be ten times easier to only see the good things.

The only reason the focus shifts a little more toward the mistakes is because it has become a trend lately and one the Blues need to wipe out.

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A win is a win and the points are important. Unfortunately, the other results were not going the Blues way, so their seed will come down to the final game.