St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 23 Vs Carolina

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

The St. Louis Blues needed a palate cleanser after a stinker against the Dallas Stars earlier in the week. Facing the Carolina Hurricanes, the third best team in the Metropolitan Division didn’t seem to be the answer, but sometimes the Blues play up to their competition.

The Blues got off to a decent start. They had the first couple shots of the game.

The main issue was there was a lot of one and done for the Blues offensively. It’s good to get shots on goal, but when there’s no pressure, it’s a mixed bag.

St. Louis was fortunate to not be down early too. Carolina’s first shot of the game was a back door play that should have gone in, but Jordan Binnington made an excellent pad save.

The Blues actually took advantage of a Carolina mistake when the Hurricanes took a delay of game penalty. The team’s top power play unit has been quite disjointed, but Robert Thomas connected on a fantastic cross-ice pass and Pavel Buchnevich snapped in the power play goal for a 1-0 lead.

It felt like the Blues were going to be nice and steady in this game. They doubled up their lead early in the second period with a great cut-back move by Noel Acciari, who used the defender as a screen.

Unfortunately, things went off the rails after that. Carolina got on the board with a power play goal. The Blues elected not to challenge it even though there was clear contact on Binnington, because the skater was outside the crease.

Challenge or not, it didn’t matter because the Hurricanes scored again shortly after that to tie it 2-2. The tying goal was nonsense as Acciari was clearly tripped, but when not called, the Hurrucanes roofed one from the high slot. Then, just 1:04 after the initial goal, Carolina took a 3-2 lead when a wrist shot from the left circle nicked off Colton Parayko’s stick to beat the glove hand of Binnington.

St. Louis had two consecutive power plays at different parts of the second period. The first one went by the wayside with the team’s typical too much passing.

The second one seemed to be going the same way. Jordan Kyrou drove the net and passed it to nobody to allow the ‘Canes to clear. On the next push down the ice, the top line connected as Torey Krug whiffed on a shot that actually went through the five-hole and give us a 3-3 game.

The third had an interesting open. Carolina made a goaltending swap, though Antti Raanta did not have a seat on the bench, so most assumed he was likely injured somehow.

The teams were pretty even throughout the period. Each team had some looks at goal, but there weren’t any top-notch chances.

The Blues continued to puzzle though. The Hurricanes pinched off Vladimir Tarasenko trying to enter the offensive zone and then Parayko overcommitted and the Canes had a breakaway. The shot got altered by Nick Leddy, who was trying to block, and snuck through Binnington’s legs for a 4-3 Carolina lead.

St. Louis got the goaltender pulled and were immediately scored on. Buchnevich strangely tried a slapshot from the point that got blocked and the Hurricanes just chipped it down and in for a 5-3 lead.

The Blues made it interesting for a moment when Ryan O’Reilly scored on a one-timer. They struggled to get the puck back into the zone and when the Hurricanes got the puck, Jordan Martinook took off and he avoided the icing call and tapped in a hat trick for a 6-4 win.

Cons: Another meltdown

Winning and losing games can often come down to razor thin margins. Maybe something just doesn’t bounce your way.

There is a lot not bouncing the Blues way right now. Even with that in mind, they’re just a mentally fragile team and their coach has said so earlier in the year.

They simply cannot stop the bleeding once they face any adversity. It’s unbelievable how quickly they unravel.

The Blues have now allowed three, or more, goals in one period in 11 games. Making matters worse, they did it in both the second and third periods in this game.

The third period was different since two of those were empty net goals. Nevertheless, it plays into it because the Blues allow a goal just moments after getting the goaltender off the ice almost every time.

It’s not just in one period either. These goals come so quick. Three goals in 1:04 of ice time is unacceptable.

Pros: Noel Acciari

The Blues don’t have a ton of bright spots right now. This guy has been one of the few though.

He works his tail off all throughout the game. He also showcases flashes of skill.

We definitely saw it on the goal. That was a sniper’s goal that you’d expect to see from a top six forward.

The way Acciari suckered the defender in was masterful. Once he got the positioning, it just took a little deke and cutback and then he could utilize the defender against his own goaltender as a screen. You still have to get the shot through and not blocked, but the goal was icing on the cake from that play.

Cons: Stop trying to block

On one hand, this is an unrealistic request. As bad as the Blues can be defensively at some points in a game, they do still help their goaltender out by blocking shots.

That said, the amount of goals they’ve given up that have gone off their bodies or sticks is ridiculous. At least two goals in this game came off Blues sticks.

Some fans will say it wasn’t enough to make a difference and Binnington should have still made a save. Maybe you’re right, but unless you’ve played goalie, you don’t fully understand how much that little tip or change of direction can mean.

The one that he likely still should have had was the five hole goal. It did hit Leddy’s stick, but Binnington needs to have his stick on the ice and many modern goaltenders don’t, or at least not all the time.

The one that went over Binnington’s glove hit Parayko’s stick. I get that you can’t alter your style for one or two shots a game, but Parayko has been guilty of this kind of thing as much as anyone.

It does seem to change game to game. We went through a long string where it was either Faulk or Krug, but now it’s mainly Parayko with some Leddy sprinkled in.

It’s just frustrating. The defense is giving up too many grade-A looks and when your goaltender is making the stops for the most part and you hurt his ability to make a save by constantly deflecting the pucks, it’s hard to swallow.


Another game where the Blues fall asleep for long enough to lose the game. Though how it transpired was very different, this game had a lot of similarities to the Dallas game.

The Blues were not awful throughout the game. They were good in the first period and had glimpses in the third period.

It honestly boiled down to 1:04 in the second period. If you somehow keep just one of those goals out, let alone two or even three, this game is very different.

It seriously doesn’t matter who you want to blame. Blame Binnington for needing to make the save. Blame the defense for tipping pucks or blame the coaching staff for not challenging a call that the league told Darren Pang they would not have overturned anyway.

It doesn’t matter who you blame. This is a teamwide problem.

I don’t care if it’s one man’s fault or all 19. You cannot consistently allow multiple goals in such short time frames. It’s sickening and embarrassing.

Nobody knows what this team needs. We can say they need another defender, but when half the problem is the forwards not helping or turning the puck over to put the defenders in a bad spot, what difference will that make?

They have to figure something out though. The Blues have only allowed fewer than three goals seven times in 23 games. If you include the games they allowed three goals, that puts it up to 11.

That’s 12 games at the beginning of a season where you’ve allowed four or more goals. It’s 16 times you’ve allowed three or more.

I don’t care if this team still had the offense they had last season, you’re not going to win many games like that. You’re definitely not going to win in the playoffs and you can ask Edmonton about that.

Carolina is not much better than the Blues in terms of actual talent. In fact, I’d venture to say the Blues are better, but they did not come close to showing it.

After a slow start and falling behind by two, the Hurricanes stuck with their program. The Blues seem to fall apart like a fart in the wind as soon as anything doesn’t go to plan.

Next. Blues more feeble than we thought if some fans are right. dark

I don’t know what the answer is. At this point, it seems unlikely they’ll figure it out against Pittsburgh, but for all we know, they go on another win streak and make us all feel better for awhile.