St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 50 At Colorado

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues knew they would have their hands full with the defending Stanley Cup champions, even if they were at their best. The problem is the Blues have not been at their best, outside of a good performance against Nashville.

That trend continued in the first period in Ball Arena. The Colorado Avalanche weren’t even playing that well, but the Blues just weren’t doing much of anything.

They only had two shots on goal around midway through the period. Then, they let up the first goal, as usual.

The fourth line has usually been one of the only bright spots for St. Louis, but gave the puck away at center as they were pushing up ice. This put everyone on their heels trying to get back, Robert Bortuzzo missed everything on a step up and Alex Newhook was able to cash in on his own rebound.

The broadcasters pointed out how Craig Berube wanted his team to respond better, having given up so many goals right after the initial one. On cue, St. Louis did just that.

Jake Neighbours and Bortuzzo were both around the puck near the blue line and neither one could win a board battle against one player. Logan O’Connor kept the puck in the zone and JT Compher cashed in on a juicy rebound, tucking it just inside the post to make it 2-0.

The Blues didn’t get anything going in the second either. The Avs made it 3-0 in the first five minutes, connecting on long passes through the middle and then hitting the backside man on a three-on-two after the man in the middle interfered with Niko Mikkola.

St. Louis was basically screening their own goal for much of the period. Jordan Binnington finally had enough, getting in a mixup behind the net after he was shoved post-save.

The Blues actually ended up with the power play after all that somehow, which is unheard of when Binnington is involved in it. While the power play looked terrible for two trips into the zone, they eventually settled in and Brayden Schenn tapped in a rebound to make it 3-1.

St. Louis got another power play late in the period after a delay of game call. They did absolutely nothing with it.

However, the team had plenty of fire to open the third period. They had an excellent opening shift and really started taking it to the Avalanche.

The Blues outshot the Avs 6-2 for the first 10 minutes and Colorado didn’t have a shot on goal in around 12 minutes total of game time. Still, the Blues took a tripping call that gave Colorado a chance, which they didn’t do much with.

Then, St. Louis turned the tables further. Taking advantage of a turnover, Ivan Barbashev had a partial breakaway and roofed it to the blocker side to make the game 3-2.

To give them credit, the Blues battled the entire third period. They just gave themselves too much to do again.

They took it all the way down to three seconds left, but a miscue between Justin Faulk and Jordan Kyrou allowed the Avs out of the zone. They scored on the empty net and won 4-2.

Pros: The third period

This was the kind of play we’ve seen in flashes and brief stretches out of this team. The talent is still there, but the mental fortitude is not for much of the season.

It’s actually somewhat infuriating to see them play like this. To know it’s in there and not brought out on even a semi-regular basis is confusing.

Regardless, it was nice to see. It was nice to see this team actually looking like a team instead of 19 individuals.

It actually started in the second period. Say what you want about his antics at times, but Binnington’s actions actually got the team stirred up.

It sucks it takes that kind of thing to provide emotion, but we saw it. They were the better team after that point.

The only thing continually lacking was the finishing. The Blues created chances even though they only had 10 shots on goal.

If there was only a way they could play like that the rest of the way, it wouldn’t be so maddening to watch them.

Cons: Continued weakness

Though the Blues turned it around eventually, their start doomed them. When you’re going up against a team like Colorado, who are very talented even in their own slump, you have to fight for every inch.

Maybe not playoff-style hammering, but something close. We saw the Blues that looked like they were made of dandelion puffs in the first period.

The second goal was maybe not being soft, but it certainly wasn’t being hard nosed. The Blues literally had two guys pushing one Avs player into the wall.

Instead of taking the puck and springing a counter, they just stood there, pressing him against the glass, as he kicked the puck to an open teammate. The lack of attention to detail in that scenario is a prime example of why this team has utterly failed this season.

The Blues outhit the Avs 24-13 in the game. While I don’t have official stats, I can bet that 20 of those hits came later in the game.

I’m sorry, but when national broadcasters are talking about how easy you are to push over – literally and figuratively – then you have major issues.

Pros: Binnington

Let’s be real here. Binnington is a polarizing personality.

He will never achieve those heights, but he’s very much like Patrick Roy. When he’s at his best, you’re going to see great things.

You also have to deal with a temperamental jerk at times. Like Roy, Binnington is a guy that very few like if he’s not on your team. Some don’t like him when he is on your team.

We saw a bit of both sides in this game. We saw a shaky, somewhat rattled goalie that was irritated because his teammates were flooding the zone and blocking every sight line he had. The fact he made any saves was somewhat miraculous.

Then, we saw the fiery side when he’d had enough. He didn’t even do too much, but you never see a goalie getting involved in the scrum by the endwall. The antics to the crowd was unnecessary, but it worked in this instance.

Binnington didn’t have to make a save for about 30 minutes, real time. The Blues were finally playing for him and taking care of the puck and staying in the offensive zone.

Naysayers will point to him giving up three goals. You tell me how anyone stops any of those three, beyond just saying rebound control when you have no idea what that means, and we’ll talk.

Cons: Falling behind again

Winning in this league is hard enough. You need talent, health, luck, skill and determination.

The Blues have had little, if any of that, all year. The talent is there, but without any of the other stuff, you can’t tell.

More often than not, you need to be playing from ahead. The 2022-23 Blues are definitely not an exception.

They have won just three games all season when the opponent scores first. They have won just two games when trailing after the first period.

Needless to say, if this current group of Blues don’t start well, it won’t end well. We saw it again.

You cannot continually fall behind in games and expect to win. Falling behind by three goals with regularity is a death sentence for almost every team, not to mention one that has major struggles.


If you have hair left after this kind of game, you’re either gray or you’re a very calm person. This team is just beyond anything we thought could be reality.

It has been over a decade, and likely longer, since I’ve seen a team react so poorly to adversity. They expect it from the start now.

St. Louis is unable to get anything going to start games. When they do, they can’t score, but when they don’t, it’s just impossible to watch.

It took Colorado nearly 10 minutes to score, but you knew the Blues had no chance. They were doing absolutely nothing in the first period to put any doubt as to the outcome of this game.

When the Avs scored, we are all essentially praying that it stays 1-0 for the rest of the period. We’re all so shellshocked by the lack of defending and positive response that we know another one is coming. The fact it happened when two guys got outworked on the boards was pure Blues.

I still argue there could have been interference on the third goal, but it doesn’t really matter. Yes, it mattered in terms of the Blues making it a 3-2 score, but those are just plays that happen in a game. You can’t allow that play to unfurl in that manner in the first place.

The fight back was great. However, you just want to shrug and say, where the heck is that the rest of the game and the rest of the season?

We all know this team won’t look the same after March 3, one way or the other. I still contend, there’s no big trade coming, but someone or multiple someones will probably be out the door.

At least provide us with some final moments. Give us something to cheer about.

Next. A look back why Pronger won the Hart Trophy. dark

Instead, even if it’s only for 20 or 25 minutes, we get treated to some of the worst hockey we’ve seen in years. This game was 50/50 in terms of good vs. bad, but the bad is just so bad that it sticks with you like being covered in tar.