St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 21 At Florida

St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25)Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25)Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues are a textbook example of being a headcase right now. When things are good, things are actually great. When they’re bad, they’re disastrous.

St. Louis knows what they need to do, which is get physical, get off to hot starts and keep a lid on their opponent’s offense. Somehow, when they’re playing badly, they manage to do the exact opposite of all those things.

For the second game in a row, the Blues were down by three goals before you could blink. The Florida Panthers scored in the first two minutes, doubled the lead within the first three minutes and the third game came before the period was halfway done.

It was more garbage too. The first goal was an untouched player in the slot, the second was a shot from the point that Thomas Greiss needed to save and the third was a breakaway.

The Blues did get one back. At 11:39, they actually crashed the net and Brandon Saad swiped in a juicy rebound to make it 3-1.

The second period was just frustrating. The Blues eliminated some of their killer mistakes, but they were still making stupid mistakes.

Passes were made just because they thought a pass should be made. Every cross ice pass was telegraphed and cut off.

The power play was a joke. They couldn’t even establish themselves in the zone. On one play, Pavel Buchnevich just tossed it in the general direction of the zone, but it was completely useless. If it had connected with Ryan O’Reilly, he was not in a spot to do anything with it and it had 0.01% likelihood of even connecting anyway.

On the team’s third power play, they did absolutely nothing. They don’t have the vaguest clue what they’re trying to accomplish and yet another lost puck led to a two-on-one and a Florida goal to make it 4-1.

The third began with more of the same for the Blues. They got an early two-on-one attack of their own and didn’t even get a shot off.

Another power play went by the wayside with absolutely nothing accomplished. The Blues finally scored on a seemingly innocuous play.

Ryan O’Reilly got the puck behind the net and just threw it back in front, knowing the goaltender was down. He got it to bank in off the skates and in to make it 4-2.

Parayko took a penalty on the next shift. Fortunately, the Blues killed it off and that seemed to spark them slightly.

After another untouched chance in the slot was barely saved by Greiss, the Blues cashed in. They found Kyrou on the wing with speed and he fired a laser beam into the upper 90 to make it 4-3.

Blues fans still didn’t have any belief, including myself. The team had belief in themselves, in the third period anyway. They finally started hitting passes and a great thread pass found Tarasenko open on the hash marks and he tied the game.

In overtime, the Blues actually looked like a team interested in winning instead of just being happy with the point. They absorbed some early pressure, but didn’t allow any good chances.

Then, patience actually paid off. While waiting for the forwards to change, Krug just stayed calm and then fed Kyrou on a breakout. The speed killed and Kyrou scooped in a backhander for a 5-4 win.

Cons: First period

What in blue blazes is wrong with this team to open games? Don’t come at me with this nonsense about the coach needs to get them pumped up.

If you can’t be prepared and ready to go when the puck drops, you’re not a good professional. If you can’t wake up after that first goal goes in and shut the door, they need to look in the mirror.

The first two goals were just ridiculous. Really all three.

On the first goal, the Blues did a decent job of getting back in transition but nobody actually took the guy with the puck. On the one replay angle, it actually looked like the defenders actually skated away from him. That was not the case, as Robert Thomas actually slipped, but still.

The second goal was both on Torey Krug and Greiss. Krug sends it up the wall, but to nobody – absolutely nobody. Greiss needed to make that save since it wasn’t that hard a shot and from the top of the point.

The third goal was just a comedy of errors. Vladimir Tarasenko lost the puck on the halfwall and then slipped. One of the other forwards immediately slipped too. Florida hit the stretch pass, splitting two defenders who were flat-footed and unable to transition the other way.

Pros: Third period

I guess the Blues saved their best for last. They looked like a completely different team for almost the entire third period.

They had more shots in the third period than the first and second periods combined. Frankly, I’m wondering where the stats people even found 11 shots in the first period and then they only had six in the second.

The Blues not only had 19 shots, but were creating chances. They were getting some traffic and actually looking for rebounds.

They played with some needed desperation. O’Reilly’s goal was not a good one, but it’s what happens when you have nothing to lose and actually put a puck on goal.

The Kyrou and Tarasenko goals were highlight reel goals. Yet, they were also the result of actually hitting your blasted passes. It’s amazing how well your stars can play when you hit them in space or in stride.

St. Louis picked up the physicality just enough to make Florida aware of them. It was a complete period of hockey, which is something we had not really seen in the previous eight periods.


The Blues are maddening. I have never been so frustrated by a win.

I try to be even keel and fair for the most part. However, like any fan, you hit a limit.

I hit my limit in this game. I was physically disgusted by what I saw in the first two periods.

I take no pleasure ripping on professionals, but that was not a professional team. There was no pride in what they were doing in each shift.

It wasn’t just boneheaded plays, but you saw fear. They were so afraid of making a mistake that they would make a mistake through hesitation.

They would hold the puck far too long and then give it away. If they did make a pass, it was often to the wrong spot or to a player that had no space or position to do anything with it. The whole team’s mentality was just here, you take it and maybe you can do something because I can’t.

It wasn’t even turnovers in an attempt to make a play. It was just throwing the puck somewhere, hoping it might work out.

That’s why things changed in the third. Whether it was desperation or luck or just being tired of things going bad, the Blues finally stopped doing those things.

They actually hit the simple passes, which would open things up later on. They finally hit the net with shots, which made them more of a threat and didn’t allow Florida to just relentlessly pressure every move.

The thing that scares the bejeebies out of me is that you don’t know what team you’re going to get. This was the first game where we saw both versions in full, but the low is just so low that it’s frightening.

Next. How did Adam Oates compare to Bernie Federko. dark

The Blues have proven they can beat the best of the best. They’ve also proven they can be as bad as the worst in the league.

Hopefully they can find some sort of happy medium. Otherwise we are in for, perhaps, the longest season of our lives.