St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 53 Vs Edmonton

St. Louis Blues Jordan Kyrou (25) reacts
St. Louis Blues Jordan Kyrou (25) reacts / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Although the St. Louis Blues didn't get shutout, they essentially laid an egg against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road. Things didn't get any easier facing the Edmonton Oilers in their first game after the road trip.

However, despite a mediocre start, the Blues got on the board first. Robert Thomas made it 1-0 just over 10 minutes in.

Thomas was denied on his first chance from the deep slot, but he got right back after it. The Blues found him on the back door and he banked it off the goalie for the score.

After that, the Blues got sloppy and took too many penalties. The Oilers would capitalize to tie it.

After a scramble and some good saves by Jordan Binnington, Connor McDavid slapped the puck to the right and found Leon Draisaitl. The sniper snuck it past a diving Binnington to make it 1-1.

The Blues got careless with the puck and took another penalty late. Although the Oilers would not score there, they gained enough momentum and took the lead with 27 seconds left in the first.

It felt on the edge of being a blowout, but Jake Neighbours evened things up just over a minute into the second. Neighbours would factor into the go-ahead goal too.

At 8:37 of the period, Neighbours made himself a pest in front and then got stopped. He fired it back in front and Torey Krug would score his second of the season to make it 3-2.

The Blues relied heavily on Binnington though. The Blues goalie stopped several grade-A shots, including a shorthanded breakaway just moments before Krug's goal.

The Blues drew a penalty later in the second period. After a scramble in front of the net, the puck popped loose to Jordan Kyrou on the left side of the crease and he swept it home for a 4-2 score.

The power play stayed red hot very late in the period. The Blues got the PP after a hooking call on Krug and the Blues found Pavel Buchnevich on the left, similar to Kyrou's, but without the scramble and the Russian forward tapped it in to make it 5-2 going into the intermission.

The Blues didn't play too poorly to open the third, but it did seem like they were comfortable trying to hold the lead. The Oilers were coming at them though.

Edmonton cut into the lead a little over halfway through the third. The pest, Corey Perry, nabbed one to make it 5-3 with under nine to go. What made that goal worse was the Blues failed to score on a brief five-on-three power play or either five-on-four.

St. Louis had a late power play too and had a partial three-on-one on that same power play, but Neighbours waited himself into trouble and no shot was gained. Nevertheless, the Blues regained their three-goal lead with a great triple-zone shot into the empty net.

St. Louis would win by a final of 6-3.

Pro: Power play

Statistically, you could argue the power play wasn't good enough. They had eight power plays and scored on two of them, giving them 25% on the night.

However, it's mainly that eight that looks bad. 1-4 is also 25% and that's a decent night.

The disappointing part was failing to score on two consecutive power plays late in the game, which overlapped in that 12-second two-man advantage.

The negatives out of the way, the bottom line is they stayed hot. The Blues power play has come to life, which is puzzling since the head coach has little they can truly change within a season, but we'll take it.

Two goals on the man advantage in a game you essentially win by two - the empty net goal doesn't really factor in - means that was the deciding factor.

Pro: Binnington

The game kind of came in waves at the Blues goaltender. While the Blues were decent, he got some time to take a breather. He needed it for the times when the Oilers were on the front foot.

Overall, Binnington finished the night with 35 saves. Yet, it wasn't just about the quantity.

The Blues were allowing far too many shots from top areas. The Oilers had 10 shots from the slot in the first period alone and that's not usually a winning recipe.

Binnington also bailed the team out in the second period. Although that was the Blues best period overall, they needed him to make some huge saves including that breakaway save and two other huge stops on Zach Hyman.

Con: First period again

This was nowhere near as bad as the first period in Toronto. I wouldn't classify this as the Blues top-five worse first periods either.

However, the Blues were fortunate the way things played out. They got outshot quite badly and eight shots on goal felt generous.

The fact the Blues scored first was what really kept them in it. Giving up that goal might have caught Edmonton by surprise, so if not for that, the Oilers may have really hit their stride.

The first goal was not really one that could have been prevented. The second goal was one that could have been prevented if the Blues won a puck battle at center ice or had their entire line get back hard on the back check.

It isn't just the Blues, by any means, but the single-digit shots on goal is getting kind of old too.


This game was indicative of the Blues in 2023-24. They can win, even when not at their very best, if they stick to a solid, team game.

The Blues needed Jordan Binnington to be at the top of his game and he was. They needed some of their big guys to step up, especially after producing absolutely nothing against Toronto, and they did.

Goals from Kyrou, Neighbours, Thomas and Buchnevich all bode well. Defensively, the team was good enough.

There is still an overall lack of physicality, but they aren't getting pushed around in front of their net as much either. Goals against happen, but at least there was solid effort.

Plenty will complain about the inconsistency from one game to the next. I won't disagree with that, but we need to stop thinking the sky is falling after every bad loss.

The Blues lose to Columbus and suddenly the playoffs are history. They lose to Toronto and it's all about how tough the schedule is and they could get blown out the next game.

This team has actually played quite well against the top names pretty consistently. The Toronto game was more of an aberation and the Columbus game was another in a line of games against bottom feeders that the Blues thought they were better than they are.

The Blues are what they are, which is a team good enough to get into the playoffs and maybe steal a round if Binnington gets hot. They showed that against Edmonton, but we'll have to take it game by game because there's no telling what's up next.