St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021-22 Game 10 At Anaheim

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues were looking to end the California portion of their road trip on a positive note. However, the Blues have, at times, had problems with the Anaheim Ducks regardless of how good or bad they are.

In this game, the Blues got off to a very good start. Just 13 seconds in, Brandon Saad put the good guys up 1-0.

It wasn’t the best of goals from the perspective of the Ducks goaltender John Gibson, but it showcased why you put the puck on the net. Saad was likely looking for a rebound, but Gibson got fooled and St. Louis grabbed the early lead.

On the flip side, the Blues allowed two breakaways in the first six minutes. Fortunately for them, Jordan Binnington was on his game early.

The defense was actually playing well as a unit, only allowing the two shots from the breakaways in the first portion of the period. Still, it wasn’t good to see guys take off behind them like that.

The Blues still had good pressure. Roughly midway through the period, the Russian line almost struck.

Ivan Barbashev set up Klim Kostin on a two-on-one. Kostin had a mostly open net, but fired it off the right post.

The worry after 20 minutes was the Blues not capitalizing again. Gibson was clearly shaky, but St. Louis repeatedly shot wide or over the net.

In the second period, the Blues just seemed a bit off. They were not generating as much and kept allowing rushes against them, either via turnovers or weak zone entries.

Eventually it bit them. About nine minutes in, the Blues got careless and the Ducks came back with a two-on-one and connected on the back door play to tie it.

Unfortunately, instead of rebounding in the third, the Blues got worse. They just seemed off in almost all phases of the game.

The Ducks would get two goals and both looked quite like the other in certain ways. While one was another one-timer in front and the other was a deflected puck on a long shot, the Blues let someone get into the middle without being touched and were standing flat-footed on either side of the goal scorer.

The Blues had a few good shifts midway through the period. Justin Faulk was denied with a good glove save by Gibson.

St. Louis just could not get anything going. They pulled the goalie with five minutes left and, while they managed to hold the puck for quite awhile, they generated absolutely nothing.

Anaheim would eventually get an empty net goal with 47 seconds left and the Blues would drop a really disappointing performance 4-1.

Pros: Saad

You might have expected a bit of rust for Brandon Saad once he returned to action after his stay on the covid list. Other than lessened ice time in his first game back, he has been on point.

With the goal he scored in the first minute against Anaheim, he now has three goals in two games. If you combine how he was playing prior to his league-enforced break, he has been on quite a hot streak.

Saad now has three goals in two games, as mentioned. He has four goals in his last four games.

Saad also has five points in his last six games. He has really proven useful and worth the contract the Blues gave him.

Unfortunately, he was one of the few players that was playing up to snuff in this game. He had two other shots on goal, which forced some decent saves.

The Blues just did not have enough from some of their other guys.

Cons: Defensive spotting

Speaking of not having enough, this was a poor second half to the game for the defense as a whole. If you want so signal out Calle Rosen, you’re more than welcome because he did not have a good game at all, but it was not on his shoulders alone.

The odd thing is that the Blues defense played a solid game for much of the first half of the contest and even through parts of the entirety. They were limiting chances against when the puck was in their own zone during regular play, showing that as a five-man unit, they were staying reasonably tight.

It was all the transition plays that made them look silly. Not counting an empty net goal, the defenders or the backcheckers were all standing around puck watching on all three regular goals.

The first one was a bit of bad luck as Colton Parayko broke his stick. Nevertheless, Justin Faulk needed to do more to disrupt the pass because he was gliding back instead of driving to his own net. Additionally, Klim Kostin looked somewhat foolish diving for a puck he had no shot at, putting him out of contention to do anything afterward.

The second goal was slightly similar. The Ducks player settled in between three Blues players and not a one managed to knock the puck away. You could argue that Faulk should have stayed instead of charging the passer, but Robert Bortuzzo was caught leaning on his stick too.

On the third goal, it was more of the same. While it was a very good deflection, giving Binnington no chance, there was no reason for the Duck player to be unhindered in the middle of the shooting lane. Someone, probably Rosen, needed to have a body on him.


This is one of those games that you, as a fan, have to decide how to view. In a vacuum, it was a discouraging performance, devoid of much physicality or emotion.

The Blues wasted early opportunities against a shaky goaltender, letting him get his feet under him and giving the Ducks confidence. Similarly to the game in Los Angeles, you just knew that not taking advantage of chances was going to nip them in the butt by the end.

However, in the grand scheme of things, you still have to view the start to the season positively so far.

The Blues are still 7-2-1, having just lost their second game in regulation all season. Additionally, regardless if you thought it was a clunker or just an off game, the Blues were in it until late.

The fact they manage to hang around and give themselves a chance, even when they’re not at their best is encouraging. You also have to take into account the people being shuffled in and out of the lineup.

You’d like to win them all, especially since Anaheim is not likely to be a playoff team, regardless of the start to their season. However, you’re going to have poor games now and then.

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The main worry is whether Rosen can bounce back since the Blues don’t have much in the way of options due to their cap situation. He needs to be better in Winnipeg, as does the entire team.