St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021 Game 13 Vs Arizona Coyotes

St. Louis Blues Ryan O'ReillyMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues Ryan O'ReillyMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Blues entered another game against the Arizona Coyotes knowing they could empty the tank. They found out their next game against the Minnesota Wild had been postponed, so there was no reason to save anything with potentially four days off until their next game.

Despite this, the Blues got off to another slow start. While there was a decent amount of energy at the start, the Blues did not have a shot on goal for almost half the first period.

That is becoming a worrying habit. It’s bad enough to have varying energy to start, but when the offense is almost nonexistent, it’s troubling.

The Blues still managed to score first, however. They also broke another disturbing streak in the process.

After failing to score on 13 straight power plays against the Coyotes, St. Louis finally broke through. After a nice set up, Ryan O’Reilly put one home for the PP goal and a 1-0 lead.

The Blues held that lead the rest of the first period and created a great chance at the end of the frame too. Less than two minutes into the second, the Coyotes tied it up on a rebound off the post.

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St. Louis slowly built up their momentum again. Their top line struck a second time for a go-ahead goal as David Perron flashed the sick mitts getting around the goaltender and tucking it in from a tough angle.

Vince Dunn took a dumb penalty and the Coyotes tied the game just a few moments into the power play. 40 minutes went by and the game was tied 2-2.

O’Reilly struck again early in the third. Similar to Perron’s goal, O’Reilly got the goalie out of the net and barely slid it in before the net got dislodged.

Zach Sanford took a foolish penalty just moments after having a good shift. Fortunately, the Blues managed to kill that off.

Unfortunately, penalties would still bite the Blues. They had a couple bad ones at the end of the period and eventually the Coyotes took advantage with half a second left and forced overtime, 3-3.

The Blues created a few chances in overtime, but really did not threaten that much. Once they got to the shootout, you felt the result was inevitable.

Despite David Perron scoring first, the Blues still butchered the result. Brayden Schenn had the puck sneak away with no shot an then Arizona scored two in a row for the win.

Pros: O’Reilly

While the Blues had a decent game, overall, the main bright spot was the team’s captain. Ryan O’Reilly definitely led by example.

Offensively, he was a force. The Blues had three goals and O’Reilly figured into every one of them.

He scored the first one, on the power play, by being in the dirty areas. While the captain was not directly in front of the goaltender, he was still doubling as a screen and also clean up man where he could scoop up a rebound.

The Perron goal was mainly an individual effort by the Blues winger. Nevertheless, the zone entry was set up by O’Reilly stepping up along the boards and disrupting any clearing attempt by Arizona.

The third goal, O’Reilly’s second, was a great individual effort for him.

Beyond the goals, O’Reilly was just doing a lot of little things. He won the majority of his faceoffs, unlike his teammates, and was a disruptive force defensively, both in his zone and on the forecheck.

It’s a pity his efforts went for nothing. He was clearly upset in the post game interviews, but what more can the man wearing the C do if his teammates will not match his example?

Cons: Dumb penalties

We can take all the swipes and digs about the officials and say things are not like they used to be all we want. The point that cannot be argued is that the Blues take dump penalties.

Don’t try to defend it. They gave up four power plays to Arizona and they were all pretty foolish.

Vince Dunn continues to puzzle as to why he deserves any more money and actually makes the team look silly for giving him a raise at all. Talk offensive stats if you want, but he’s not good defensively and either doesn’t work enough or overworks and puts himself out of position to where he takes penalties. That’s exactly what happened and his penalty led to a quick Coyotes goal.

Zach Sanford is another player that should not be playing if the Blues had a healthy lineup. We constantly hear about his speed and tenacity, but what I see is stupid, reactionary penalties like the cross check he threw because he did not like a clean hit on him in the netural zone. The Coyotes did not score, but that’s more time played shorthanded.

Jaden Schwartz took a bad penalty at the end of the game too. Not only did it negate a Blues power play, but it proved that the Blues need to keep their blasted sticks on the ice.

People will talk about how everyone moves their stick like that when they take off, but that’s the point. The officials are calling every stick infraction you can imagine, so do not even give them the chance. Keep the blad on the ice and that does not happen and the Coyotes never have a chance to tie it. But that dumb penalty gave them an extra man at the end of the game and thus the two points instead of a loss.

Pros: Sustained pressure

Trying to be a positive Pete, one of the good things about the Blues was how they had several sustained periods of offense. Some of them even came on the power play.

Of course, the Blues finally got a power play goal. Beyond that, they actually kept the puck in the zone on the other attacks too.

The Coyotes managed to kill off the other three, but at least the Blues hemmed them in. Speaking of hemming them in, they kept Arizona on their heels too.

The Blues forced several icing calls and kept the Coyotes tired lines out quite a few times. Unfortunately, the Blues could not take advantage enough times.

Overview

This loss ticks off just about every box that touches a nerve. They could not hold a lead.

They could not score enough on the power play. Penalties killed them again.

The offense was good, but not good enough. The defense was not good enough consistently and Jordan Binnington seems to have no clue where some rebounds go. Binnington was not to blame at all, but it’s an observation that he often thinks he’s been beaten and fails to react to anything afterward.

The shootout is just a joke. I hate the fact that games are decided by a skills competition and the league cannot even take five minutes to give them fresh ice.

Schenn likely doesn’t score anyway, because the Blues just never score more than one goal in a shootout. You’d still like for him not to embarrass himself by having the puck hit a chunk of ice and roll away.

Right now, the Blues just do not have that killer edge. They’re a lot better than Arizona on paper, but they’re constantly outworked.

St. Louis prove they’re the better team in chunks. When they worked, they were dominant, but lapses in judgement and a few bad bounces bit them in the rear again.

dark. Next. Robert Thomas out at least a month

At this point, the Coyotes will jump into first place if they keep playing the Blues. Hopefully, a few days off will reset St. Louis’ minds and they will get a fresh start on the road. It cannot hurt anything at this point.