St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021-22 Game 19 At Detroit

St. Louis Blues Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues have the talent and drive to be considered among the best teams in the NHL. Unfortunately, they also have the consistency to put them more in line with some of the lower class teams in the league.

We saw examples of both sides as they faced the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in well over 700 days. This game was definitely a far cry from the battles we saw when these two were in the same division.

The Blues opened the game quite well. They were not clean as a whistle with all their moves and connections, but they were capitalizing on chances.

St. Louis opened the scoring on just their fourth shot of the game. It was Pavel Buchnevich to get the goal, finishing off a strong power play attack and gaining a 2-1 lead.

Then, the Blues got careless. They started trying low-percentage passes and it was just not working.

When it did work, they would get a decent look at the net. When it did not work, Detroit was off the other direction. While the Red Wings are still not a contender, they have too much speed to just hand the puck to.

St. Louis fell asleep with 6:13. They had three back checkers converge on the puck, allowing a break in on the back side and a 1-1 game.

Things took an even more sour turn in the second period. After dominating the first seven minutes, garnering almost all the shots, the Blues allowed the go-ahead goal to the Red Wings.

The Blues had an unfortunate bounce of the side of their net that caught everyone unaware. It was filtered into the slot and Ville Husso had no chance on the goal.

The Blues looked extremely shaky after that. Their scoring chances took a plummet and their passing and puck management got even worse than it had been.

As the period waned, the Blues generated a few opportunities. Perhaps the best was a breakaway for Ryan O’Reilly, but the puck rolled on him a little on the backhander and he shot right into the goalie’s glove.

The Blues got to things early in the third period. David Perron caught the goalie cheating off his post and banged one in off the body to tie it 2-2 less than 90 seconds in.

The good feelings did not last for long. Due to a screen in front, the Red Wings regained the lead with a wobbly shot from the high slot almost four minutes later.

The Blues turned it on after that. Unfortunately, the puck would not go in.

Marco Scandella was denied on an empty-net rebound with a spectacular glove save. The Blues then hit the cross bar, Robert Thomas then slid it through the crease just inches from the goal line and then another huge save denied them – this time a pad save.

Ultimately, the Blues just could not get it done. They kept trying things that had not been working all game long.

With their goaltender pulled, they continually tried passes across the crease. knowing sticks were in the lane. Eventually, this led to the puck ramping out of the zone and it was former Blues player Robby Fabbri to finish them off with an empty net goal and a 4-2 win.

Cons: Defending

I’m not quite sure what has been going on with the Blues defending lately, but it hit a peak of putrid at times in this game. No offense to the kids out there, but they were defending like a peewee team.

The first goal was just atrocious. There were literally three players trying to converge on the initial puck carrier.

How does that make any sense? Why is there no rink awareness to know that someone has to track the backdoor play?

Even if you don’t see the player coming down the wing, you have to guard against the possibility. If Tyler Bertuzzi can beat two players, so be it, but that third defender was completely in the wrong by sliding over.

That goal was just one example. In the second period there was a play where both Justin Faulk and Torey Krug were on the near boards. The only reason it did not burn them was because Robby Fabbri did not see the open player coming into the middle.

The decision making was just puzzling. Guys backed off when they should challenge, vacated the middle when they needed to stay and had little positional awareness. If not for Ville Husso and some iffy Detroit passes, the Red Wings would have commanded more than a 2-1 lead going into the third.

Cons: The passing

This ties into the earlier section, but the passing from the Blues has just been ridiculous of late. We have seen worse than what they did in this game, but it again boils down to decision making.

St. Louis has talent and they have more speed than they’ve possessed in years past. They’re still not a breakout team, nor should they be trying a ton of long passes.

Yet, that’s what they did all night. They continually tried to thread the needle, whether up the seam or across the top of the crease.

It was not working all night long. So, why in blue blazes would you still try it when your net is empty?

When Detroit had been deflecting pucks and knocking passes down all night, why go for the low percentage plays just because you’re behind?


If you want to say the Blues outplayed the Red Wings, go right ahead. I won’t argue with that, because during the run of play, that’s not an incorrect statement.

However, the end result speaks for itself. There’s lots of arguments to one side or the other.

On the one hand, you can say St. Louis blew a ton of chances and missed open nets, which is true. You can also say that the game wasn’t as close as it was because Perron’s goal should never have gone in.

On another hand, the Blues were denied by some huge saves. Nevertheless, the Blues did not force enough rebounds because they were shooting right into the goalie too often as well.

The Blues defending was spotty at best. I get that Detroit is no longer even a conference foe, but the lack of any physicality was worrying as well.

No longer rivals now, Detroit was once the biggest Blues foe. dark. Next

Give full credit to Alex Nedeljkovic because he made some big stops. With that in mind, the Blues cannot keep getting beat by teams lower than them in the standings.

Yeah, it’s the NHL and parity and anyone can beat anyone blah blah. The bottom line is the Blues should have skated circles around the Red Wings now that they have a healthy lineup and it was very disjointed.