The St. Louis Blues botched a chance to get some momentum rolling in their favor in the second of a three game home stand. They let the Winnipeg Jets just have too much room to play with.
The St. Louis Blues continue to confuse and confound the fans. One game after their offense exploded for six goals, the Blues were only able to get two goals past the Winnipeg Jets.
Granted, Winnipeg is a division rival and division games are rarely easy. Even with that in mind, the Blues simply just put themselves in a position where winning was always going to be difficult.
St. Louis surrendered the first goal of the game. Despite outshooting the Jets 7-1 at that point, the Jets snuck one in off the crossbar, off Jordan Binnington‘s back and in. It sucked the air out of the building somewhat.
The Blues outshot the Jets in the first period, and the game too. However, they could not solve the Jets’ puzzle in net.
Unfortunately, despite playing well for spurts in the second period, the Blues surrendered the next goal too. After failing to get the puck deep on a dump in, four Blues players were caught up ice and the Jets had a three-on-one and scored.
To nobody’s surprise, the Blues finally woke up and made a comeback push. They scored a little over halfway through the game when a rebound clanged off the post and Colton Parayko scored.
A little over two minutes later, the Blues would tie the game up. A seeing-eye shot from Carl Gunnarsson deflected off a defender’s stick.
The Blues continued to created chances, but some missed the net and some were saved.
Then, in the third period, the Jets took the lead for good. A rebound popped in front after a shot from the right boards was not handled cleanly and Winnipeg scored off the scramble play.
A late empty net goal finished things off. The Jets would win 4-2.
I try not to let my opinion of players be swayed by things I read or hear or discuss with other people. However, there is something extremely irritating about David Perron right now.
The guy refuses to not turn the puck over when the game is on the line. The last two times the Blues have pulled their goaltender, coincidentally both against Winnipeg, Perron has been the man to turn the puck over.
At least in Winnipeg it was sort of understandable. He got knocked down close to the blue line, where you expect a battle.
At home, in this game, Perron simply had the puck jabbed away near the right wing wall. In his defense, he was surrounded by three guys, but if you see that many converging, that means three or four players should be open.
He needed to chip it into the corner or do a hard-rim around. Instead he just skated into the zone, gave it up again and allowed the Jets to score another empty net goal.
The guy is a fantastic player and strong on the puck more times than not. However, he seems to either fall on his face or just let the other team have it when it matters most and you simply cannot afford a turnover.
Ah, the wonders of the goaltender position. You can play your best game in a lifetime and still be the goat if you let one squeak by.
This was nowhere near Jordan Binnington‘s best game of his lifetime. However, if not for him the Blues likely would have been swept away early on.
Just moments after that initial goal went in off his back, the Jets had a two-on-none breakaway. Binnington made a huge pad save and then kept the Jets from having anything to shoot at on the rebound.
Binnington made several key saves throughout the game. That said, if we are fair, or at the very least see things through the same eyes as those that blamed Jake Allen for every goal scored against him, Binnington should have easily saved the initial shot that led to the game-winning goal.
It was just a hard toss toward net from the boards on the right. Binnington makes that grab 99 times out of 100, but on this one time the puck popped out too far and he could not grab nor poke the puck away.
People have bad goals. It happens. Unfortunately, it came at a time when the Blues could ill afford it.
Colton Parayko continues to show what a valuable player he can, has been and will continue to be. The guy is a three-tool player if there ever was one.
He can skate like the wind for a big guy, which he showcased several times. He showed how good he can be when he is decisive as there were a couple times he just blew by the opponent to get into the zone and eventually crated a chance off that.
He seems to be regaining confidence in his shot. He unleashed a slapper early in the contest and had a total of four shots on goal with almost double that in chances created.
Parayko also scored the goal that got the team back into the game.
Instead of retreating to the blue line once the Blues went up the right wing instead of the left, where he was positioned, he continued to glide through the circle. He was looking to get into position should a puck rebound out, which it did. From there, it was all about pushing it toward goal and keeping it on target.
However, for all the good he did, he was at fault for the second goal against. It was Parayko that failed to get the puck in deep enough and the Jets gratefully took the puck given right to them and sprang a three-on-one.
You might even say it’s additionally Parayko’s fault for not slamming on the breaks. It is easy to say without skates strapped to your feet, but it seems as though Parayko should have tried to get back on defense as soon as he saw the puck would be turned over. Instead, he continued over the attacking blue line and left Vince Dunn with no support.
As Bernie Federko said recently, late January and February are some of the toughest games to get through. The veterans have checked out mentally and the rookies/young players can only do so much.
If that is indeed the case, the entire team better check back in mentally because their errors are costing them. Winnipeg played a decent game and had really good goaltending. However, they did not really do enough to win.
The Blues played well enough in spurts to deserve a win, or at least a point. However, they played poorly enough in plenty of key spots in the game to hand Winnipeg a win on a sliver platter, which you cannot do against a team with that talent.
I do not care what the Jets record currently is. They are a tough team and will make you pay for sloppiness.
St. Louis continues to confound. When they were on, they were on, peppering the net with shots and forcing good saves.
When they were off, they were off. They turned the puck over six times statistically and probably far more than that.
They were not as abusive of the blind pass in this game, but the passing continues to be an issue. While hockey is a game of feel, there is far too much assumption going on. The Blues will drop a puck or try to thread the needle when it isn’t even 60% likely to succeed and that costs them.
Additionally, as a unit, the defense just was not good enough. They limited shots overall, but they gave up several grade-A chances against Binnington. If not for 15 blocked shots plus Binnington’s big saves, the scoreboard could have looked a lot different.
The Blues need to find a way to be more consistent and not in their current way. Regardless of goaltender or end result, this is the sixth game in a row where they have given up three goals or more. It is the 11th time out of 15 games where that has been the case.
The Blues offense has done a great job. They currently scored the second most goals in the conference. Even so, theydo not have the kind of offense that will carry them gave after game.
After six goals against Carolina, they mustered two in this one. Now, they have to turn their focus to the Dallas Stars. A game like this and the Stars will paste the Blues.