St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 55 Vs Toronto

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues hoped to have a better performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs than they showed in Toronto. Coming off a poor showing against Nashville, you hoped the Blues would get off to a strong start.

Instead, the first period was a whole lot of nothing. The Blues had some early looks, as did the Leafs, but there wasn't a lot of offense to speak of.

Both teams had six total shots in the opening frame. The Leafs best look actually hit the post too.

It didn't take long for the score to change in the second period. Matthew Knies got in behind three defenders, was fed the puck on the right circle and cut it back across the grain and ove the shoulder for a 1-0 lead just 22 seconds into the second.

The Blues had a good push on their very next shift. Marco Scandella found Brayden Schenn in front of the net, but the captain hit the side of the net on the short side.

There wasn't a ton of push after that. Toronto had some quality looks that Joel Hofer dealt with.

The Blues best chance of the first 10 minutes came on a shorthanded rush. Unfortunately, Robert Thomas had no angle on the right wing and shot right into the goaltender.

St. Louis was often their own worst enemy too. A bad giveaway at their own line led to a breakaway with about seven minutes left, but Hofer shut that down.

The Blues had a power play in the final five minutes. Jordan Kyrou had a partially open net and sent it over the crossbar.

Fortunately, the Blues kept at it and actually got a good zone entry. They found Brandon Saad in the slot and he curled it back onto the forehand to bank one in off the defender for a 1-1 game.

That only lasted through the second. Toronto scored early again, in the third.

Kyrou took a high sticking penalty off the opening faceoff and the Leafs made him pay. They found Auston Matthews in the slot and he slammed it home to make it 2-1 44 seconds in.

The Blues were on the power play in the middle portion of the period. Unfortunately, William Nylander scored shorthanded when Hofer cheated on what was basically a two-on-none.

St. Louis pulled the goalie with about four minutes and they actually held it in the zone for almost 90 seconds, but they couldn't score. Toronto proceeded to miss an empty net not long after.

Then, in the final 90 seconds, the Blues finally struck. Krug took a shot from the blue line that likely went off a defender and in, making it 3-2 Leafs.

That didn't last long as the Leafs outmuscled Krug on the lob down the ice and then Bobby McMann spun it into the empty net. Toronto won 4-2.

Con: Offense

This game was nowhere near as bad as the game in Toronto. That said, it's just not good enough.

I honestly don't even have suggestions as to what they could have done. There just was not enough push until late in the game.

The Blues failed to get double-digit shots in any period. It didn't feel like they were over passing as they have in the past, but it just wasn't there.

There has to be more pressure. There has to be a way to get more pucks on the net.

Toronto isn't the greatest defensive team and they were missing their top defender for the second game against St. Louis. I don't know if it's lack of focus or what, but it's frustrating to see them put up six against Edmonton and then choke in two straight games.

Pro: Power play

St. Louis didn't look fantastic on the power play they did not score on, but they got the job done overall. 1-2 is pretty good and they looked solid on the one they did score on.

The initial shift was pretty good. They worked the puck around and tired out that defensive line.

The Blues often struggle regaining the zone, but managed to get set back up on this occasion. Some nice passing led to Saad's finish from the slot.

You can argue if they scored on both they get a better result, but considering how bad this unit was for much of the season, you can't ask for perfection. 50% in one game isn't bad.

Pro/Con: Krug

At this point, I don't know what to think about Krug. Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy because he's become a modern day version of Barret Jackman.

Every time it seems like something positive might be happening, it doubles down on the negative.

Clearly, Krug scoring the goal to give the Blues hope was key in that moment. However, he made some errors too.

I don't completely fault him at the end of the game. That likely should have been a penalty on McMann, but it wasn't and it just felt like Krug should have skated harder or been stronger. It's a lot harder to keep balance on ice than any of us think, however.

Regardless of that, Krug just always seems to have errors. I don't know if he's trying too hard or what the deal might be, but there's consistent problems with puck control and passing in bad areas of the ice.

He did score the goal, but it also feels like he has next to no confidence in his offensive game right now. It's hard to tell if there's actually shooting lanes or not based on the camera angle, but it just seems like he doesn't want to shoot or shoots wide too much.


This game hurt because it was there for the taking. Toronto had their offensive weapons all there and really weren't much better than the Blues offensively.

The Leafs created more, but they also shot wide or high even more than St. Louis. It was 1-0 for a long time and the Blues tied it, even if they weren't on their game.

The penalty against Kyrou was unfortunate, but it showcased that you can't give a team like that power plays. Kyrou was in a no-win scenario because if he doesn't try to lift the stick, his man goes off to the races, but it stunk that he caught the guy in the face.

Again, it just wasn't enough for the Blues, but I'm not sure what the difference is. Why the offense is clicking and getting chances one game and then not another is a mystery. There have been plenty of games where effort was lacking, but this game didn't really feel that way. The Blues weren't full of vigor, but they weren't just lollygagging around either.

There was nothing Hofer was doing about any of the goals he let up. Yes, he cheated on the shorthanded goal, but that's a gamble you have to take in that situation.

Overall, it was just a disappointing game. Toronto is good and there's no shame in losing to them.

You just want to feel like they beat you. While the Leafs played well enough to win, it just didn't feel like they truly beat the Blues as much as the Blues didn't do enough to counter.