St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2022-23 Game 72 At Anaheim
The St. Louis Blues keep winning games, getting points and pissing off online trolls and I’m loving it. As a fan, of course I root for the team through everything, but the fact that the team winning now makes so many online fans mad that want them to tank is just glorious.
No doubt, you had the fools on Facebook that figured St. Louis was doomed anyway since Jordan Binnington was getting the start. I made the point earlier in the day that it’s funny how every analyst and former player talks about how good Binner is, despite the stats, but somehow the online community will never be convinced. I digress.
Things started off quite poorly for the Blues in Anaheim. The Ducks got an early power play after Sammy Blais forgot how to stop and bulldozed the Ducks goalie. They scored 1:26 into the period on a backdoor play that Binnington had no chance at.
However, it only took the Blues 15 seconds to answer. Jakub Vrana kept up his hot streak scoring the tying goal on the backhand after a great setup by Justin Faulk.
The Ducks regained the lead before the five minute mark. A lackadaisical outlet pass was tipped into the air, gathered along the near wall, sent to the slot and then fired to the man on the short side to tap it into an empty net as Binnington was challenging the guy in the slot.
It stayed 2-1 until past the 15-minute mark. Then, the Blues got down to business.
Sammy Blais tied the game after tapping the puck off the wall to himself, cutting through from the wing to the slot and firing it over the glovehand. Brayden Schenn gave the Blues the lead just 19 seconds later. St. Louis found him on the stretch pass for the breakaway and he trickled one in off the blocker to make it 3-2 into the break.
The Blues were not done there. Schenn and Kasperi Kapanen scored 29 seconds apart as the second period was not even two minutes old when St. Louis made it 5-2.
Schenn scored on a cross-ice pass from Vrana. Kapanen’s goal came off Torey Krug’s shot, which was stopped, bounced into the air and then off Kapenen’s skate.
Kapanen got his second of the game 15 seconds into the third period. He drove into the zone and into space on the right circle and fired it in for a 6-2 lead.
The Ducks did add one just over five minutes into the third. Still, the Blues held on for an impressive 6-3 win.
Pros: Schenn and Kapanen
Any time you get a guy to score two goals in a game, it has been a good night. If you get two guys to score two goals, you’re really having a good evening.
Schenn scored his second of the game early in the second. He was on the hat trick watch for quite some time.
Kapanen was not looking for a third quite as long, but still had the opportunity. His second goal was pure luck, but he was in the right spot being around the net that close.
Cons: Power play
I joke around about cut and paste, but this is getting ridiculous. While both the TV and radio crew were in agreement about the unit looking better, the bottom line is the results are as bad or worse.
The Blues were 0-4 in this contest. They are now 0 for their last 15 power play attempts.
Making matters worse – they have six shots in those 15 power play attempts.
That is unbelievable. All fans, including myself, get overzealous with the shoot chants, but you do have to shoot the puck when you have an extra man.
That is not even averaging a shot every two power plays. Six shots on 15 power play attempts is pitiful.
Pros: Multiple point games
Lots of guys stepped up in this game. Some of them were new, some old, some new but had been here before.
Schenn ended the night with two goals and three points. Kapanen had the same, two goals and three points.
Vrana chipped in with his one goal and two points, assisting on Schenn’s second goal. Sammy Blais continued his turnaround in St. Louis adding a goal and an assist.
Don’t buy into the idiocy that Blais is on Tarasenko’s level, but it’s good to see him active offensively.
This is a very bad Anaheim team. Honestly, I felt bad for John Gibson a couple times, but still wanted the Blues to add to the total.
The Blues have been on the opposite end of the drubbings too many times this season. It’s nice to have a comfortable win now and then.
The turnaround in the team play is fun, but does beg the question where this was earlier in the year. The defensive unit – all five guys – are finally playing the way they need to.
Yes, Anaheim is bad, but they can still score. St. Louis held them to 25 shots, many of which didn’t even trouble Binnington.
Though St. Louis put up 6, it should have been more. They had a couple odd-man rushes that didn’t connect or went wide that they should have put home.
Nevertheless, nobody should sneeze at six goals. 6-3 over a team you should beat instead of just skimming by is how you want to get things done.
It’s a short turnaround as the Blues take on the LA Kings just 24 hours later. Having that win in their back pocket and not using a ton of energy should help.