While the rest of the league had played anywhere from three to five games already, the St. Louis Blues came into October 19 taking the ice for just the second time all year. Though they didn’t have their best game, they got things done early.
The Blues continued to look like a team trying to bust out of their preseason shell. Like game one, they managed to score despite being outshot early on.
Jordan Kyrou got his first goal of the season. For whatever reason, former Blues defender Vince Dunn just stood there and watched the sniper step in toward goal and rip one into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Despite scoring first, the Blues started getting out played. Though Seattle had not had many early chances, they started testing Jordan Binnington pretty hard. He was forced to make quite a few important saves in the first period.
One he couldn’t make was on Will Borgen at 10:51. Colton Parayko’s pass out of the zone got picked off and the Kraken were able to quickly capitalize.
The tie game lasted barely a minute. Brayden Schenn was the recipient of a Robert Thomas pass after a Dunn turnover on the boards to make it 2-1.
Just 17 seconds after, it was 3-1. This time it was defender Justin Faulk.
However, the open to this season continued to be odd. The Blues started sustaining a lot of pressure and then surrendered the next goal. St. Louis got caught with their defenders both pinching high and Seattle sprang a breakaway. Though Binnington made the initial save, his foot came off the post, revealing the puck for Ryan Donato to jam in.
As good as the first was for the Blues, it was just as fortunate for the Kraken in the second. They took a shot off the faceoff later in the second and Torey Krug deflected it into his own net to make it 3-3.
The third period was just kind of a mess. St. Louis only managed six shots on goal and absorbed 12. The main reason the game got to overtime, from the Blues perspective, was Binnington.
St. Louis was taking on a good deal of pressure in the OT period, but finally got a good shift or two. Tarasenko dropped it off to Faulk, who whipped one top shelf for the 4-3 win.
This game was similar to some of the early games Binnington had in 2021-22. Seattle got three goals in two periods, but the Blues were relying on Binnington to make big saves.
Binnington had to stop 10-first period shots. Plenty of those were big ones, including a sliding pad save that appeared to be a sure goal.
Binnington kept Matty Beniers off the board in the first period as well. Beniers thought it was his second of the year and Binner trapped it against the body.
There really wasn’t anything he could do on those first three. Fans will find a way to blame him, but Binnington was sharp overall.
The Blues need their defenders to be good in their zone and responsible with the puck. Unfortunately, too many of them were not in this game.
Justin Faulk was fine overall. The others were not that great and actually directly responsible for the first three goals.
On the first one, it came directly off a Parayko turnover. I’m not sure when it happened, but Parayko used to be one of the team’s better puck movers and now he gets passes picked off regularly. You just can’t turn the puck over near the blue line and that’s exactly what he did, causing there to be no support to help.
The second one involved Parayko again. He turned the puck over in the offensive zone and Nick Leddy had worked his way up the wall, vacating the blue line. Seattle sprang the breakaway quickly and it was only forwards back and none could break up the pass.
For the third, there’s just no reason for Krug to even attempt touching that puck. I get it’s second nature to try to coral it or knock it away, but that puck was going wide. Instead, he completely changed the path of the shot, which made it impossible for Binnington to save.
This was not a grade-A game from Vladimir Tarasenko. He had shifts where he disappeared or looked disinterested (the team’s third power play comes to mind).
However, Tarasenko picked up three important assists. He had the main assists on Schenn’s goal and Faulk’s winner. He had the secondary assist on Faulk’s first goal, so he has some good chemistry with Mr. Mustache.
The intelligence to drop it on the game winner was impressive too. A lot of times you’ll see the sniper just force a shot there and that would lead to an odd-man rush the other way. Instead, he knew the angle was not there, dropped it to Faulk and the Blues win it.
For the second game in a row, the Blues were out of sorts. They seemed to get worse as the game went along, though they managed to scrap together enough plays to get the two points.
The first period was messy, but somehow the team came out with a 3-1 lead. The second was better in terms of possession and pressure, but the turnovers and mistakes came back to haunt them and the Kraken tied it up.
The third period was as lackluster as we’ve seen from the Blues in quite some time. The lack of offense was worrying and the defensive structure was not what you expect from St. Louis.
The Blues felt fortunate to get the point and you simply never know what will happen in three-on-three. Thankfully, we did not get the usual Blues forward slipping, leading to a rush the other way.
St. Louis might not have earned the two points, but it doesn’t matter. They got them and they need to get better in the next one at Edmonton.