St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons 2022 Playoff Game 4 Vs Colorado Avalanche

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

The St. Louis Blues have been here before. They’ve trailed series 2-1 going into Game 4 and had success in recent past and in team history.

The Colorado Avalanche are a slightly different beast though. They’re better than the Dallas Stars or the San Jose Sharks were.

St. Louis did not need a perfect game to win. They needed a clean game with hard nosed effort right from the start though.

They did not get that. In fact, it was far from that.

The Blues just looked disjointed from the puck drop. Passes were just off all night.

Despite all that, the Blues managed to get in the board first. David Perron was the one to strike.

St. Louis managed to get the puck below the end line to Pavel Buchnevich. He fed to Perron who had the smarts to make a drag move across the crease and bury it into the open net.

The Blues managed to get to the locker room up by one. It wasn’t overly earned, but St. Louis was in the lead and that’s what mattered.

Things looked good in the second period, at first. It turned very quickly.

Once the Avs got on the board, the Blues unravelled. The Colorado Avalanche scored four unanswered goals in a very short stretch.

The game felt essentially out of reach in a five-minute span. The air had been sucked out of an electric building.

To make matters worse, Nazem Kadri scored two in the second period. Rubbing tobasco sauce in the wound, the Blues killed off an entire five-on-three and then Kadri was left open on the near side to make it 4-1.

Credit to the Blues. They clawed their way back into things in the second portion of the middle frame.

St. Louis took advantage of the power play. The Blues got two power play goals to make it 4-3.

Perron got his second off another great feed amd he buried into an open net to make it 4-2. Then, late in the period, Buchnevich had ine bounce off him to make it 4-3.

If not for some posts, the Blues could have tied it before the 40 minutes were up. Apmost but not quite was the story.

The Avs just shut down the Blues in the third.

St. Louis just couldn’t get anything moving at all. The passing was horrendous amd the Avs took away all space.

The few chances the Blues did manage rang off the post. St. Louis got Husso off cleanly in this game, but never managed anything.

The final was 6-3 after a late turnover led to a Kadri hat trick and then the Avs put the empty net home in the final 30 seconds. It was a disappointing end to a game that had so much promise.

Pros: Perron

While there were more flurries from a few other guys, namely the Thomas, Tarasenko, Buchnevichline, the truth is that for yet another game, the Blues only got production from David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly. Whoever their winger was mainly benefitted by osmosis.

Perron continued to defy age. Nobody calls him an old man, but he’s definitely a veteran and you might think they would wear down over time.

Perron has actually gotten more well rounded as his career has gone on and even just in this series. I mean look at him showing some cahones and going after Kadri like a wrestling move. You can argue he’s gotta be more composed if you want, but at that point, you show the SOB you’re not going to take his garbage.

Perron made up for it by scoring two of the Blues three goals. They were quality scores too.

That first one was just vintage. To show the on-ice awareness to drag that around the goalie instead of shooting immediately was mint.

The second goal was probably more about the set up, but you still have to get that shot through. The net was empty, but there was not a huge avenue to put it through with bodies on either side of the shooting lane.

It would have been nice to get Perron the hat trick to match the scumbag Kadri. However, as everything else played out, it may not have mattered.

Cons: Hitting the brakes

All game long, the Blues just refused to skate to get anything accomplished. It was nothing but trying to pass out of problems or creating problems by literally stopping.

If they were trying to enter the zone, they would cross the blue line, stop and then either drop it off or dump it around. That almost always ended with the Avs having the puck.

If St. Louis wanted to exit the zone, they’d get up to their own blue line, stop and then fling it up ice or drop it back. Again, this ended with plenty of turnovers or invited more forechecking pressure against them.

The Avs played solid positional defense, but the Blues just lacked any kind of will. Eventually, someone has to put the team on their shoulders and just bull rush these fools.

That never happened. Or, if it did happen, there was no support because the Blues had to get a line change due to doing so much defending.

This wasn’t even about trying to go east or west. The Blues honestly refused to go north because they did not want, or could not keep their feet moving.

Hockey is not soccer. Trying to pass around the problems doesn’t work unless there are guys skating off the puck and even then, you still need the puck carrier to do some of the work.

Cons: Too soft

The Blues just did not win board battles all night long. They were soft.

I don’t care about hits or chirping Kadri or trying to mix it up in the corners. It does not matter if you’re not keeping or winning the puck.

One of the reasons the Blues kept having to stop is they would lose the puck along the wall. Another huge problem was the constant unawareness of someone coming along their back.

Either someone needs to yell or guys just need to know this is the playoffs. You’re not going to be allowed to have your back to the attacking zone and simply turn and skate up.

You have to have one or two ideas of what to do with the puck when it comes, expecting the pressure immediately. If someone is not on your back within two seconds of receiving the puck, it means there is a line change going on and you might find rare space. Otherwise, expect a stick to come in, attempting to knock the puck away.

The Blues did not expect this. Because of that, the Avs just poked away so many pucks. Whether they got possession is irrelevant because the Blues just couldn’t go anywhere since they weren’t strong on the puck.

Zone entries were denied. Guys tried to stickhandle along the blue line, with their backhand, and got upended and lost possession several times.

It was too much of a regular season effort in a playoff game that had gigantic implications about how this series is going to end.

Cons: Kyrou

I normally do my best to not call out individuals. Picking on the goaltender is often lazy and a mistake, though Husso did need to make a couple saves he did not.

Also, I am a big Jordan Kyrou supporter. You don’t find that level of speed along with edge work and hands that often.

All that in mind, he was terrible in this game. He was a one man example of both the previous cons already discussed.

If he sensed he was going to be hit, he shrunk from the contact and the puck just slipped away. He hit the brakes at the blue line (both attacking and defending) several times and let the Avs swarm him.

The Blues probably still lose anyway, but there’s more a fight to put up if it’s 4-3 instead of 5-3. So, technically, Kyrou sucked the life out of the team by losing a board battle late in the game and giving Kadri his hat trick.

I wouldn’t even call it a board battle, and neither did the radio post game crew. He was just sort of standing still along the wall and either didn’t know the opponent was coming or had no clue what to do about it.

He’s young and young players make mistakes, but there’s been no upside to Kyrou. The speed has been negated.

His stickhandling has disappeared along with his confidence. He skates right into problems or tries to get rid of the puck so fast, there is nothing a teammate could do with it even if they did field the pass.

For a guy that had a career year and has plenty of future potential, it was a very disappointing game and has been a disappointing playoffs for Kyrou.


Let’s get the elephant out of the room. If you want to blame Husso for this game, go ahead.

I’ll call you an idiot and we’ll both be on opposing sides of the losing side, so none of it matters. I really don’t care what your reasons are. There is no one man that makes the difference in this game.

I can blame Kyrou for that late turnover, but for all we know the Blues don’t score a fourth even if it stays 4-3. You can blame Husso, but for all we know, the Avs just find a different way to score because the Blues kept setting them up time after time.

The bottom line is that, as a unit from top to bottom, the Avs outplayed the Blues.

You cannot have three first period shots and five third period shots and expect to win. You cannot expect your goaltender to put up a shutout in a playoff game and when you barely get pucks on net yourself, you force a goaltender to be perfect.

You get to a point where feistiness and physicality is fine, but where are your leaders? O’Reilly and Perron are getting it done, but very few others.

Brayden Schenn has no goals in the playoffs. Buchnevich had been a ghost until this game.

Ivan Barbashev is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Brandon Saad has shrunk into the bushes like that Homer Simpson meme.

Robert Thomas was essentially the team’s top-line center coming into this series. He has no goals and three assists in the entire playoffs.

The Blues have defensive problems and maybe Husso could have had a save here or there. There was absolutely no offensive pressure out of a team that actually paced, and sometimes out scored, the Avs during the season.

Call out whatever individual you want, but you can’t win without goals. For a baseball analogy, you can have all the aces you want, but if nobody can get a hit, you’re asking your pitchers to throw no-hitters half the time.

St. Louis had nine 20-goal scorers in the regular season and now have four players with five or more goals. Kyrou is one of those five and he has been a nonfactor in Game 4 and the series.

Top 10 2019 Blues championship moments. dark. Next

Foolishly, I still have hope in this series. Steal one in Colorado, get a hard fought result in St. Louis and take your chances in a Game 7.

The Blues simply cannot play the way they did in Game 4 and expect to win. Binnington, Husso, Fuhr, Joseph…it doesn’t matter. The entire team needs to show more.