St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 14 At Colorado

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues were feeling pretty good about themselves going into Denver. They had won two straight games, including one over Vegas who had the most points in the league at the time.

What is more, the Blues were looking more like themselves. However, pushing their winning total to one that could actually be considered a streak was not going to be easy.

If we’re honest, Vegas is an excellent team, but they’re not the Avalanche. Colorado might not have quite as many points at this juncture, but they’re still the team to beat until their not.

St. Louis knew this and, like they did in the playoffs last season, held Colorado in check in the first period. It wasn’t just a sit back and defend effort either as the Blues got their shots as well.

The main difference was that the Blues chances seemed to be more quickly by the wayside, while Colorado established more sustained pressure, especially toward the end of the first.

Despite a very evenly played first period, the Blues played with fire. Colorado has the best power play in the NHL and St. Louis gave them two cracks at scoring on the man advantage. Jordan Binnington and some brave shot blockers kept it even after 20 minutes.

The second period had some ups and downs. The Blues seemed more focused on defending, which is fine overall, but also continued a worrying trend where they can’t get pucks to net in the middle frame.

The Blues got their first power play, but wasted about a minute trying in vain to even get zone entry. They had a couple looks once they settled in, but it wasn’t enough.

As the second went by, the Blues started to get more involved in the offense. They sprang some odd-man rushes and even a few breakaways.

Brandon Saad got a breakaway, but failed to even get a shot away as it was poke checked. Colorado came down and scored shortly after as a laser beam beat Binnington over the blocker.

The Blues we saw from two weeks ago would have crumbled. Instead, this team got back to work and kept doing what had made them successful over their last few shifts.

They got in behind Colorado again and, this time, Robert Thomas scored on the breakaway. Technically, it got kicked in by the goaltender, but as long as it counts, who cares?

The Blues continued to hang in there. They also got a little more good fortune by taking the lead.

Making up for his missed breakaway, Saad just flung one toward the net. It banked off a defender’s skate and just snuck past the goalie and the post to make it 2-1.

The third got off to a heck of a start. With the Blues on the power play, they connected on a fantastic pass into the zone and Jordan Kyrou showed the skill that makes us believe he can eventually be a 30-plus goal scorer.

He made it 3-1 just 13 seconds into the period. The Blues needed that goal.

Not long after, Schenn took another tripping penalty. Was it ticky tack? Maybe, but when your stick is near the guy’s legs and they go down, you’re going to the box.

Colorado finally broke down the Blues power play. Another shot went off the bar and in to make it 3-2 and make Blues fans start to chew their nails.

The Blues kept that up for the rest of the period. They played well, but they started relying on defending way too much.

That provided one of the best offenses in the league a shooting gallery. How the Blues withstood it is beyond me.

The last two minutes were almost as nerve-racking as a playoff game. St. Louis gave up a five-on-three, taking two late penalties and they managed to block a ton of shots and Binnington came up huge.

The Blues won 3-2 after withstanding what became a six-on-three.

Pros: Binnington

This guy has been under fire from fans, but hopefully the last two wins prove that he was never the issue. The Blues are still not quite up to snuff, but their goaltender is winning them games.

Binnington faced 47 shots and made 45 saves. The two goals he gave up, there was nothing he could do. Both of them banked off the post, meaning that was basically the only spot the puck could get by him and go in.

The save he made at the end of the game was literally game-saving. Not only because of the time of the game, but because he stopped Nathan MacKinnon on an open shot from the left circle.

This was the Binnington the Blues need all the time and have gotten so many games already. He was constantly on top of his crease, challenging everyone.

Cons: Silly penalties

There is rarely a penalty that is good, unless you haul a guy down that was clearly going to score a goal. That one is fine because you give your team a chance instead of giving up the goal.

The penalties taken in this game were pretty avoidable. Schenn’s penalties in particular were clear cut.

The first trip was exactly that. Beyond just tripping him, Schenn thrust out his stick after the guy had clearly already beat him.

It’s easy to judge things in slow motion, but there seemed to be an option to retract the stick and maybe not take a call. Instead, after the guy has made the move and gone by and the stick is still in his path, Schenn thrusts it forward, making it impossible not to trip the guy.

The second one, as mentioned, might have been as much a good sell by Cale Makar as it was a trip. That said, you’re putting yourself in a bad spot when you get your stick anywhere near an opponent’s skates or legs.

Pros: Getting the little things done

When you’re playing against the big dogs in the NHL, it boils down to small things. Those small things become big things when you do them consistently.

It wasn’t an overly physical game, but the Blues were constantly putting a body on an opponent. Maybe you’re not wearing them out, but you’re mentally getting to them knowing they won’t have space.

St. Louis sold out in this game. 15 blocked shots doesn’t sound like a ton, but those add up, especially for a team that has looked so shaky defensively in earlier games.

The Blues were doing the little things to help out their goalie. Maybe he still faced almost 50 shots, but if not for those blocks, he would have seen 60 or more shots, so each block becomes a big deal. That was never more true that Colton Parayko, Ryan O’Reilly and Niko Mikkola throwing themselves at every chance during that late penalty kill.

Pros: Kyrou goal

This goal was great for multiple reasons. Firstly, it proved to be the game winner.

Secondly, it came on the power play. The Blues power play has been hit or miss at best, so they needed something good to happen and they got it at a back breaking time, coming out of the locker room.

Lastly, the finish by Kyrou was next level.

You’ve got the top-notch assist coming from Robert Thomas, who had two big points in this game. This is the combo between those two players we’ve been waiting all season for.

The move to score was just fantastic. Make everyone think you have to go backhand, leave it forehand and scoop it over the committed goalie. That’s what we’ve all been wanting from Kyrou and he looked comfortable in this game beyond just that goal.


It’s way too early to say the Blues are back or this is where it all turns around. A couple losses in a row negates a lot.

However, not only have they beaten two of the best teams in the league now, but they did it with heart and grit. The goals may have been fortunate, but you get those bounces when you’re playing hard and the Blues have been.

They’re playing smart too. You don’t get those goals if you make an extra pass, like St. Louis has earlier in the year.

You allow more than two goals if you’re making boneheaded plays. Instead, the Blues would get pucks deep and get off for changes instead of trying to make that extra play.

They blocked chances when they could and were well positioned. The Avs had 17 shots in the first period but 30 chances, meaning the Blues forced them off target plenty of times.

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Every win from here on out takes extra significance because of the hole the Blues put themselves in by losing eight straight. However, taking down Colorado is extra sweet since they’re the litmus test for where the Blues are.