St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 56 Vs NY Islanders

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off another bad loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the St. Louis Blues needed a strong start against the New York Islanders. With that in mind, they infused young blood by promoting Zachary Bolduc.

Unfortunately, he got little playing time because there were four total power plays in the first period alone. Despite the special teams looks, both teams finished the first 20 with just 14 combined shots overall.

Things opened up more in the second. Jordan Binnington continued to shine, stopping an early break and also a one-timer from the doorstep on an Islanders power play.

Although the Blues power play had not produced earlier in the game, it finally came through about five minutes into the second period. As the man advantage was dwindling, the Blues found Brandon Saad on the back door to make it 1-0.

St. Louis wasted no time getting their second. Literally on the next shift, coming off the faceoff Jordan Kyrou stole the puck on the forecheck and Robert Thomas found Pavel Buchnevich for another back door shot and it was 2-0 in seven seconds of game time.

The Blues came right back and did it again. This time, the Blues won the puck on the back check in their own zone. It was the same trio, finished off with a Kryou to Buchnevich pass and the goal from the right circle to make it 3-0.

The Islanders came out strong in the third period. Although they didn't have a ton of shots in the first half of the period, they got another power play and also had six shots to the Blues two in the first nine minutes.

The Blues thought they had a power play, but during the television break the referees huddled up and decided they had spotted a high stick on Saad to make it four-on-four. Patrick Roy decided this was a good time to pull the goalie, even though there was more than 10 minutes left.

St. Louis made them pay for that decision. Buchnevich got his hat trick goal into an empty net and it was a 4-0 score.

Moments later, we briefly thought it was 5-0. Unfortunately, Matthew Kessel's shot was knocked down by a high stick from Alexey Toropchenko.

The Islanders were not lacking for chances. Binnington kept things rolling with a big glove save on a breakaway about 13 minutes in.

Both teams kept picking up power plays, but not doing much with them. St. Louis had a good look with a Saad breakaway shorthanded, but he ran out of room and then Kevin Hayes shot was stopped on the second chance.

The Blues finished the period on the power play, but didn't score. The final was a win for the Blues at 4-0.

Pro: Binnington

For those just tuning in, the St. Louis Blues have a pretty good goalie in Jordan Binnington. Don't let any of the online discourse make you think otherwise.

Binnington picked up his 137th career win, tying him with Curtis Joseph all time with the Blues. Although not in the Hall of Fame, most Blues fans consider CuJo a pretty good goaltender.

Focusing on this game, Binnington was a catalyst for the win. He made a handful of big saves in the first period while the Blues were getting their feet under them.

He continued to make big saves throughout. He was tested with 20 shots in the second period and 38 overall in his shutout performance.

As Jamal Mayers put it, the stat sheet won't show you how good Binner was in this game. He stopped breakaways, back door plays, rebounds, shots from the crease and slot shots.

Pro/Con: Offense

It seems strange to criticize the offense when they scored four goals and three of those came at full strength. However, it still felt lacking.

On the one hand, the Blues made the most out of a little. They scored four goals on 25 shots, which isn't that bad a shooting percentage.

Why they can no longer regularly get double-digit shots in a period is confusing. Add on that they absorb a lot of pressure and you're asking a lot of your goalie and also expecting to score that many goals with not many chances.

The Blues gave up 20 shots in the second and 12 in the third. When you're outshot in two of the three periods, it puts pressure on the offense to perform. While they did in this game, the odds are not in your favor.

Pro: Buch

Like the Blues, this was kind of a funny game for Pavel Buchnevich. We've seen him perform much better on an individual basis and not get rewarded.

In this game, it almost felt like a weight off his shoulders kind of game. Buch has been hard on himself and not felt like he's had the best year and yet he's now got 22 goals on the year.

A hat trick helps that total. His teammates did too.

His first goal was essentially all but a tap in. It was mostly about the set up from Thomas, but you still have to finish.

The second was a little better from Buchnevich in terms of skill. It didn't require his best shot ever, but it was still a good marker from the circle.

Then he gets the empty netter for the hat trick. As much as I love Patrick Roy, there's no need to pull the goalie that early, but it came to St. Louis' benefit.


The individual aspects of the team weren't that great in the game. They got the win.

The power play scored a goal that proved to be a game winner. They finished 1-5 and didn't create much.

The penalty kill didn't look that great and allowed six shots against during one power play in the second. Yet, they killed off all five against them.

The offense wasn't that good, with only 25 shots. They scored four and came close to five.

St. Louis allowed breakaways, backdoor plays and grade-A chances against. They got a shutout.

The point is sometimes you don't need to be at your very best as long as you're putting in the effort and key guys step up. You get goals from your top line and your goalie stands on his head, that's a recipe for winning.

The Blues are at a point where their goaltending is more than good enough to steal a playoff series. They simply need consistency in the rest of the team and that's what has been hard to find.