St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2021-22 Game 82 Vs Vegas Golden Knights

St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis BluesMandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues came into their final regular season game of 2021-22 with their hopes high. A win over the Vegas Golden Knights, coupled with a loss by the Minnesota Wild, would see the Blues get home ice advantage in the first round.

That got dashed pretty quickly in the night. The Wild jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Colorado Avalanche, who sat about a third of their team.

As far as what the Blues could control, it wasn’t a ton better. The game pinged back and forth in a wide open style, but St. Louis couldn’t hit the net.

The Blues only had one shot on goal until pretty late in the period. The Golden Knights got on the board first.

Mark Stone beat Ville Husso on a rebound. The initial shot came from the point and Stone was untouched in front of the net.

Less than three minutes later, David Perron tied the game. On a quick, bang-bang play, Perron tucked it past the goaltender from in tight and just to the right.

Though the Blues played better in the final five minutes, it was not the best period. St. Louis needed more from everyone outside of their goalie.

It seemed as though they would get it. Captain Ryan O’Reilly made it 2-1 in the first five minutes, giving the Blues nine 20-goal scorers on the year.

Vegas took control from there. Jack Eichel made it 2-2 just past the nine minute mark.

The Blues would regain the lead with a Jordan Kyrou power play goal. It was pretty much the only bright spot in the period.

Vegas tied the game on a great shot from Zach Whitecloud at 15:32. There was barely any room, but the defense didn’t help out at all. The Blues got outshot 20-8 in the second alone

The Blues gave up a grade-A chance early in the third period. Vegas would still score shortly after that with a laser beam from William Karlsson.

Vegas took a two-goal lead just over three minutes after that. The Blues trailed 5-3 and had not mustered much offense anyway.

St. Louis got a glimmer of hope with another power play goal. O’Reilly scored just seven seconds after the power play began.

The air got let out of the building when Eichel scored his second to make it 6-4. The Blues failed to mark the slot again.

St. Louis actually looked decent with the net empty and the extra attacker, but still could not hit the net. Despite the pressure, Vegas eventually popped one out of the zone and Max Pacioretty hit the empty net for a 7-4 win.

Pros: Husso

If you only look at the numbers, most will wonder how a goalie can be a bright spot in this game. Husso allowed six goals.

The fact of the matter is he got no help. Vegas finished with 45 shots on goal.

Even with all the goals allowed, Husso made 38 saves. That’s a lot.

On top of the overall number, these were not shots from the walls. Vegas got into prime scoring areas more than once.

Husso had to stop partial breaks and odd-man rushes. He had a decent amount of traffic in front to deal with too, especially for a meaningless game from the Vegas perspective.

Husso battled all night long. The quality of the shots that beat him were those that hardly any goalie in the league were going to stop.

One did trickle through him, but even then. It was a good effort from the netminder in a game where few other guys had their best effort.

Cons: Offensive output

Similar to the Husso pro, statistically it seems odd for a four-goal game to be a bad thing. The Blues made the most of what they got, but there just was not enough.

Five shots in the first period is ridiculous. 18 shots in a game is not good enough.

Vegas is a good team with a lot of talent. They had nothing to play for and you got run over.

Where was the firepower? The top line of Robert Thomas, Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich looked great at times, but what did it matter?

Thomas had two shots and Tarasenko had one shot. If you’re not hitting the net, it doesn’t matter what kind of chances you create. You can’t score if you’re not on target.

If your top line has three shots of 18, that means nobody else stood up. Alexei Toropchenko had three shots by himself.

Buchnevich, Ivan Barbashev and Brandon Saad had no shots on goal. Those are guys you need to generate some offense.

Pros: O’Reilly

For the second night in a row, the captain stepped up big. For the second game in a row, O’Reilly had two goals and was a big, if not only, part of the offense.

Interestingly, it was the first time in O’Reilly’s career that he’s had multiple goal games back to back. O’Reilly has always been an assist guy first, but you’d think he would have had a couple two-goal games one after the other at some other point.

Additionally, O’Reilly became the ninth guy on the Blues to score 20 goals. Hopefully the captain keeps this scoring touch going into the playoffs.

Cons: Defense

I don’t know what happened in this game. There were bright spots in this game defensively, but it was terrible overall.

For example, Colton Parayko had a fantastic breakup of a three-on-one with a well placed stick. How did Vegas get the three-on-one in the first place?

Why were the Golden Knights wide open in the slot so many times? At least three of their six goals prior to the empty netter were from the heart of their offensive zone or closer.

When you have home ice on the line, how do you allow 45 shots? To make matters worse, the Blues allowed 22 shots against from the slot.

I don’t think this performance will carry into the playoffs, but you never know.

Pros: Power play

The Blues power play has been a source of frustration all year, but the bottom line is they were successful. They’ve been as high as second in the league.

They showed why they were that high in this game. St. Louis got two of their four goals on the power play and went 2/3 overall with the man advantage.

In this game, the Blues wasted no time getting things going. Each goal came quickly.

Kyrou’s goal was scored 25 seconds after the power play began. O’Reilly scored just seven seconds after the faceoff and it felt even quicker than that.

If you’re only going to muster 18 total shots, you’ve got to make the most of those opportunities. The Blues did.


In the end, this proved to be a meaningless game overall. With Minnesota winning, it didn’t matter whether the Blues won or lost.

That was not 100% known when the Blues were actually playing. It was 3-1 in Minnesota when it was 3-3 in St. Louis, so the Blues should have come out with fire in the third period.

Not only did you wear out your goalie and provide him no defensive support, but Husso looked uncomfortable. It won’t likely be anything to prevent him from starting his next game, but the radio crew kept mentioning it as though the team should pull him to keep it from getting worse.

Injuries can happen in any game, but you don’t want your probable game 1 starter to get hurt. The fact he was forced to make so many saves since the defense couldn’t contain anyone was definitely a cause of that, if there was anything nagging.

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On the positive, you still got four goals and two power play goals. Most nights, that ends up with a win.

It’s just a sour way to finish the regular season with two really bad defensive performances.