St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 25 At NY Rangers

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

The St. Louis Blues are just a lost hockey team right now. They looked just north of pathetic against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The hope was to fix a few things against a fellow struggling team in the New York Rangers. While they fixed a couple things, the end result was just as bad.

The Blues got off to a typical start. They had decent energy out of the gate, the offense doesn’t know how to hit the net.

The first three minutes the Blues created some chances, but missed every time or had it blocked. Even one of their best players, Pavel Buchnevich, created eight or nine first-period chances and only hit the net two or three times. The others were blocked or missed.

Defensively, the Blues were better than recently. They only allowed six first-period shots against and fewer chances than normal.

Unfortunately, they still allowed a goal. A seemingly easy shot from the right circle went in because Robert Bortuzzo and the Rangers player screened Jordan Binnington and the shot went in on the blocker side before he could even react.

The Blues tied it up shortly after. Buchnevich managed to sneak one in after it trickled through the goaltender on a distance shot.

It seemed like it would go to intermission with a 1-1 tie. The refs then made up a penalty on Jordan Kyrou and the Rangers scored immediately after the faceoff as the Blues penalty kill continues to be useless.

Shockingly, the Blues had a very good second period. That’s been their worst this season, but not on this night.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his seventh of the year just 12 seconds in. Vlady took the puck on the hashmarks after a turnover and slammed it in for a 2-2 game.

That was short lived as anything positive has been this year. The Rangers retook the lead just 55 seconds later when a deflection altered the direction of the puck nearly six inches for New York to grab a 3-2 lead.

The Blues continued to be inept on the power play. More often New York had better chances than St. Louis.

They caught a break when they finally simplified things. Instead of forcing passes, they just took the simple pass to Jordan Kyrou who blasted it in to tie the game at three goals.

Ryan O’Reilly got his eighth of the season to grab the lead. The captain crashed the net on a follow up play and scored off Schenn’s rebound after a quick deke and backhander.

The way the Blues were playing, 4-3 seemed like a reasonable score to hold. St. Louis had only allowed 12 shots through two periods.

Unfortunately, it all fell apart in the third. Jordan Binnington had played quite well despite the goals against prior to that.

However, the fourth Rangers goal was something he cannot let in. An untouched shot from the blue line snuck over his pad and under the glove. His reaction showed he knew he messed up, but you can’t have that.

The Blues fell apart from there and the Rangers found life. They took the lead less then four minutes later.

O’Reilly’s struggles continued when he did not clear the puck and tipped it right to the Rangers. The shot from the point appeared to be going wide or towards the far post, but the unguarded man in the slot deflected it nearly a foot and it made it 5-4.

St. Louis got a late power play, but that would have been better not given. Ivan Barbashev just let the puck slip off his stick and Chris Kreider got a breakaway for the 6-4 win.

Cons: Special teams

There’s far too many things wrong with the Blues at this stage to say one thing is more wrong than the other. However, it’s hard to argue that the special teams units are one of the worst problems.

The transformation has been astonishing. It’s mind boggling how you can have top-five in both PP and PK last season and be near the bottom in both this season.

St. Louis may have got the power play goal, but don’t let that fool you. They were still 1-4, even with the goal, and gave up a shorthanded goal in the process, negating their score anyway.

Robert Thomas needs to be kept as far away from the power play as possible right now. Throughout the game, he had at least five passes that went directly the Rangers because he’s Brett Favre’ing it.

He thinks he can fit it through the smallest of windows, aiming between legs of through the thin margin between stick and body. It’s not working at all.

Besides the shorthanded goal, the Blues gave up a two-on-one and a partial break as well. Honestly, the Rangers should have had two shorthanded goals as the one just barely hit the post and they couldn’t recover fast enough to knock it in.

The penalty kill is almost automatic in the wrong way. You pretty much assume if the Blues take a penalty the opponent will either score or tire out the entire unit because the Blues can’t get it out.

In this game, it was the former. New York scored mere seconds after the faceoff win because the Blues did not even consider coming out to challenge the shooter.

Pros: Tenacity

The one thing the Blues had, through two periods, in this game was tenacity. They battled back.

Now, we can view the negative and discuss how they shouldn’t have to battle so much. You tie the game 1-1 and 2-2 and allow the Rangers to score within a minute each time.

We can only take things as they are. Those things did happen and, considering what we’ve seen lately, it was nice to see the Blues battle back and either tie the game each time or take the lead.

While it was still sloppy and uneven and requiring simpler plays, the second period was one of the best we’ve seen in some time. To score three goals and have a lead into the third period had many feeling pretty good.

Pro/Con: Binnington

Most Blues fans will say he’s only a negative right now. However, despite the lack of shots, Binnington was still facing quality chances when the puck did get through.

Two of the goals were unstoppable deflections. The Rangers had even more of those and Binnington made several good stops on them.

Despite letting up three goals through two periods, Binnington was playing very well. Both the TV and radio crew agreed with that assessment.

Then, the third period. Noel Acciari needs to do better to get that puck out, but Binnington cannot let that fourth goal go in.

He saw it the entire way. If he did not see it the entire way, he saw it early enough that any screen was not problematic.

That goal cannot go in. The Blues absolutely need a save right there.

They proved they needed that save because they crumbled after that play. Make that save and the Blues probably win the game. You don’t and we saw what happened.

Cons: O’Reilly

Before people get all up in arms, I’m not blaming O’Reilly for all that ails this team. There’s enough to go around for everyone.

However, while plus/minus is not always the most reliable stat, it has to tell something in this instance. Ryan O’Reilly was a minus-3 for this game.

For those that forgot, he scored a goal. That means O’Reilly was actually on the ice for four of New York’s six goals.

The one goal that he did play a part in was that failed clearance up the wall. You do have to say that the defender put him in an awkward spot since there was a Rangers player on his back, but he’s still got to either hold that puck or clear it.

Regardless, he’s supposed to be your best defensive forward. Even if he’s not to blame for the goals individually, he’s not getting his linemates to defend that well either.

It’s a harsh criticism, but he’s the captain.


I just don’t know what is wrong with this team. It’s everything and every one.

Maybe you don’t include Acciari in there or the fourth line. That isn’t who you need leading this team or providing energy every single shift.

For the longest time, it wasn’t the goaltending’s problem. Now, goaltending is part of the problem.

The Blues were the better team for 40 minutes. 40 minutes is not a game.

The shame of it is that the Blues still could not dominate even when they were the better team. You only allow 12 shots through those two periods and yet the score was only 4-3.

Additionally, you allow three goals in a period yet again. You shouldn’t be constantly allowing three goals in a single game the way the Blues are, let alone one period.

I don’t understand the mental makeup of this team right now. Even when they play relatively well, every single mistake seems to haunt them.

The power play gives up more than it gets. The goaltending is a complete headcase now. The defense plays ok and still can’t clear people out enough for the saves to be made without a deflection.

I think the main problem is that there are too many individuals right now. O’Reilly scored, but his line was not good defensively since he was out there for four goals.

Thomas had an assist, Tarasenko and Buchnevich a goal. Nevertheless, Thomas is trying to do too much and gives the puck up a lot.

Schenn is a model player in terms of still doing the physical part and hustling. He’s not raising the bar of anyone else though.

Nobody is following an example. It’s just one guy out there doing whatever while the others just scupper about.

Next. No trade saves the Blues right now. dark

Luckily there’s no time to think on it. The New York Islanders are on the docket less than 24 hours afterward. Maybe the streak will end there.