St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021-22 Game 42 At Calgary

St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues had been claiming points in spite of some messy play during their Pacific Northwest road trip. Some of that could be chalked up to playing lower-level teams like Seattle and Vancouver.

The Calgary Flames are not world beaters, but they’re a good team and a team that will capitalize on mistakes. That’s exactly what they did against the Blues.

It’s not how things started off though. The Blues actually struck first in this game, which may have been part of the problem since they’ve played so well from behind.

Tyler Bozak broke the scoring deadlock just 5:10 into the first period, so it seemed like things would be alright. It was not just a downhill after that, but a gigantic cliff over a bottomless pit.

The Flames tied it up just 49 seconds after the Blues scored. Calgary would rattle off six more goals across the first two periods, thoroughly embarrassing the Blues.

St. Louis just failed to do anything positive. They continually failed to clear their zone, they lost just about every battle for the puck, they allowed an inordinate amount of odd-man rushes and left Jordan Binnington out to dry time after time.

Fans will be fans and there are undoubtedly those that will blame Binnington for this game, but they don’t have a clue. There might be a discussion about how the Blues play in front of Binnington instead of Husso, but if you’re too blind to see that Binnington had next to no chance on any of the goals, you’re just blinded by your opinion.

I mean the Blues actually took out their own goaltender on one of the goals. Who knows how a goalie is supposed to make a save when his defender slides right into him, taking him out of the play.

The Blues had no energy for 40 minutes. I know they played the night before, lost an hour and Calgary has a little altitude, but at least show some guts and try to fight through it.

St. Louis had 18 skaters that each looked like they wanted someone else to do it instead of putting on their big-boy pants and doing it themselves. Sometimes a score doesn’t tell the entire story, but this game felt even worse than a 7-1 score.

Cons: Officiating

In no way did the Blues lose this game based on the officials, but this game was another highlight that some of these new referees just don’t have a clue how to officiate at the highest level. The mistakes they are making are just unbelievable at times.

They called a too many men penalty that was not. Darren Pang did his best to suggest the Blues touched the puck before someone got off the ice, but there simply was not six men on the ice. We’ve seen seven players on the ice in other games and it was not called, but somehow this one was “close” enough that the refs felt the need to penalize St. Louis.

Additionally, I’m not sure what Niko Mikkola was supposed to do on his interference call. As Chris Kerber said, if that’s interference, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to play the game of hockey.

The Robert Bortuzzo holding penalty was somewhat legit, but throw both guys into the box. Bortuzzo did practically DDT the Flames player, but that same Flames player had his arms and stick wrapped around Bortz like a snake.

The Blues absolutely have to do a better job of not taking penalties. They’ve given three or more power plays in over 15 of their last 20 or so games and that’s just not sustainable. That said, it’s hard to play when the refs are all but making things up.

Cons: Flames second and third goals

This was just a comedy of errors all around. It started off with the Flames go-ahead goal, where the Blues really just unraveled.

The Blues attempted a breakout and just got sloppy. Vladimir Tarasenko attempted a one-touch pass through the neutral zone with Flames players all around, giving up the puck and leading to an odd-man rush.

For some unknown reason, Colton Parayko decided to slide down onto his belly before the Flames were fully half way into the zone. When facing someone as skilled at stick handling as Johnny Gaudreau, you cannot surrender the ice that quickly and allow him a multitude of options to keep skating or make an open pass.

The third goal was just as bad, if not worse all around. Firstly, that was the goal that resulted from the phantom too many men penalty, so the Blues should not have even been shorthanded.

The Blues did have an odd-man rush while shorthanded, which resulted in the counter attack. On one hand, you have to give it to Bortuzzo for busting his butt to get all the way back since he had joined the rush.

However, he lost that benefit of the doubt by crashing into his own goaltender for no real reason. Yes, he was trying to make a play, but he took himself out of the play by leaving his feet.

Diving the way he did made no sense. The pass had not been made when he went down. Even though it did end up coming across, he would have been better positioned to hit the brakes and try to block it while standing up.

Instead, he tried to make a sliding block and took Binnington out of the play in the process. Just like the Parayko play, I understand the immediacy of the decision and the hope that it would result in a block, but both would have been better served by staying on their feet.


Other than the Blues scoring the first goal of the game, this was just an embarrassment by everyone involved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on the side of that knee-jerk reaction fan base where they want to fire the coach, trade Binnington for a bag of pucks and blow the whole thing up.

This was one bad game and I expect it to be better in the next contest. That said, as a 60-minute performance, nobody did anything right.

Klim Kostin constantly turned the puck over. The defense allowed way too many transition opportunities and back door plays.

The offense all but refused to get back and help while the Flames were rushing down on their goaltender. Just about anything the Blues could have done wrong, they did.

What is concerning going forward is the absolute lack of offense. St. Louis got away with it in Vancouver, but low, single-digit shot totals per period is not going to get it done.

You can throw all the excuses you want out there, but two shots in one period is inexcusable. Even if you had five guys get injured and only had two full lines to throw out there, you should be able to muster at least five shots or more.

St. Louis actually had their most shots of the game in the third period, which is something we have not been able to say, even in wins lately. You could easily chalk that up to Calgary just sitting back with a six-goal lead. The Blues never really threatened, despite an uptick in offensive opportunities.

If this was a true one off, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, it was a carbon copy of the game in Vancouver except the mistakes all cost them this time around.

The Blues did absolutely nothing with their limited chances. They relied on their goalie far too much and it bit them because they have robbed a Stanley Cup winning goaltender of any and all confidence.

Those who actually know me know I’m not a negative person, despite what a few on Twitter will say. I’m usually the one pointing out the one, little good thing that happened at the three minute mark of the second period that nobody picks up on instead of harping only on the mistakes.

This game was just impossible to pull anything positive out of. As with any game, there were probably plays here and there that popped in someone’s eyes that I simply missed. Overall, it was a garbage game filled with little effort until it no longer mattered. Maybe the Blues played better in the third, but where was any of that when it could have made a difference?

Hopefully St. Louis will remember this performance. They play Calgary in St. Louis on Thursday. Regardless of what the final score in that one is, I would hope we see a more fired up and determined Blues team on home ice.