St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021-22 Game 7 Vs Chicago

St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (47)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug (47)Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues lost their first game of the season on Thursday when they just did not have the legs against the Colorado Avalanche. Fortunately, the team ended their home streak against a rival and one of the worst teams in the league.

The Chicago Blackhawks came into this game having yet to win a game in the young NHL season. They left the game still not having won one and set a new franchise mark for the most games played to start a season without a win.

Despite all that futility, it would not prove to be an easy night for the boys in blue. In fact, the game was in question until the very end.

The first period went by with little fanfare. The Blues outshot Chicago by a wide margin, 14-4, but could not sneak one in.

They had a decent amount of energy, but it could not translate. Chicago’s lack of shot production was a combination of steady defensive play by St. Louis and the Blackhawks own ineptitude.

In the second period, the Blues kept the offense coming, but got sloppy. The Blues took some silly penalties, one being a holding call and another a crosscheck.

This allowed the Blackhawks to gain a foothold in the contest. They ended the period with 12 shots on goal in that frame alone, mostly due to the Blues being thrown off balance by killing off penalties.

Still, St. Louis was unfortunate not to score. With 15 additional shots on goal, it was only Marc-Andre Fleury that kept the game scoreless.

Nevertheless, the game remained scoreless into the third. The deadlock was finally broken at 7:25 of the final regulation period.

Torey Krug snapped a shot from the right circle on the power play. It snuck through the legs of Fleury and gave the Blues a 1-0 lead.

St. Louis held onto that lead for the remainder of the third period. While there were some nervy moments at the end of the game, the Blues saw it through.

They got back on the winning side. The victory improved their record to 6-1.

Pros: Binnington

Jordan Binnington was not called on too often in this contest. Ultimately, he only had to make 25 saves.

That’s more of an average night than a spectacular one. Nevertheless, it’s the end result that Binnington needs to be proud of.

While he wasn’t overly tested in quality or quantity, he made the saves he needed to. He was sharp with his focus and positioning, making things look easy whether they were or not.

When 60 minutes was up, Binnington had his first shutout of the season and the ninth of his career. It doesn’t matter how it came about as long as that goose egg stays on the board.

Shutouts are similar to no hitters in baseball. It doesn’t matter if you struck out 20 batters and pitched all nine or if you only got through seven and your defense bailed you out several times. What matters is the result and the confidence it can build.

Binnington is rarely lacking confidence, but the results have not fallen his way. He has won several games or kept the Blues in games they were being outplayed, but due to his stats not being up to the standards of some, he’s not viewed the way he should be.

Bottom line is Binnington has five of the team’s six wins. He and Ville Husso have shutouts, which doubles the team total from 2021.

Cons: Failing to put Chicago away

While credit goes where it’s due with Fleury standing on his head, the fact remains that the Blues are a far better team at this point in the season. They failed to find a way to get Chicago done with early in the game.

We can go on about it being the NHL and there’s no bad teams and this is a rivalry. That is all true, but the Blues had no business only winning this game 1-0.

Chicago has pride and they still have some stars, but we saw how overrated their offseason additions were in terms of making an impact. The Blackhawks brought in good players, but it overshadowed how bad they were in 2021 and got too many people and media members excited over nothing.

The Blues had the depth and had the chances. They just couldn’t get it put away early on.

Pros: Faulk

We usually look at stats being the good stuff, but now and then you need to see what’s happening away from the offensive zone. Justin Faulk has transitioned himself from a one-note, Erik Karlsson type player to a two-way defender capable of hanging with the best in the game.

Naysayers will talk about him not playing Chicago’s top line, or against older players that are out of their prime. Chicago still has guys that can put up 30 or more goals and Faulk put the clamps down.

Faulk did not register a point, but he got the job done in other ways. He was still impactful on the offensive end, with three shots on goal.

Faulk played a physical role, registering two official hits and winning several puck battles. He also blocked three shots and had a takeaway too.

The three turnovers cannot be ignored, but Faulk got the job done in all three zones of the rink. It’s time people started thinking of him as the asset he clearly is.

Cons: Turnovers

Taking a quick look at the box score, there’s a few things that jump out. One is that the Blues got outhit.

The Blues are the more bruising team and Chicago has not been known for hitting as much in recent times. Still, they had 22 registered hits compared to 15 for the Blues.

That can be chalked up to puck possession though. The Blues had more of the puck, giving Chicago more chances to go for hits.

The disparity in turnovers is more worrying though. The Blues had 14 giveaways compared to just five for Chicago.

Things have changed since Joel Quenneville left the Blackhawks, but they still like to try the stretch pass now and then. That should lead to turnovers, but it was the Blues who were more careless with the puck overall.

The way St. Louis plays, trying to spring the attack from the back, you’re going to have turnovers. Even so, St. Louis has to cut that out.

It was part of the reason they couldn’t gain traction against Colorado. It was part of the reason they kept Chicago in this game.

Take better care of the puck and, perhaps, this game is a cake walk.


This is one of those games that can be viewed multiple ways. You can see it as a negative or a positive.

On the negative side, they turned the puck over too much and let Chicago hang around too long. On the positive, Binnington had a relatively easy night and got a confidence-boosting shutout.

They got good performances from their big names. Vladimir Tarasenko stayed hot, picking up an assist and giving him nine points in seven games.

Faulk and Colton Parayko have established themselves as workhorses. They both came within a stone’s throw of playing 30 minutes.

Next. Stop the Tarasenko trade nonsense. dark

In the end, you take the win and prepare to go on the road. When the season gets into its later stages, nobody will care how you beat Chicago, just that you did.

Now, it’s back to the west coast and on to Los Angeles.