St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 58 At Winnipeg

Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues had a couple days to stew over their horrendous performance against the Detroit Red Wings before facing the Winnipeg Jets. If you expected them to come out firing, you were disappointed.

St. Louis definitely had more jump to open up against the Jets than we saw against the Wings, but the result wasn't much different. The Jets scored first because the Blues couldn't do anything about it.

Winnipeg had several looks at the goal without anything close to a clearing attempt by the Blues. The cycle eventually found a man in the slot with the defenders standing like pillars near the crease and it was 1-0.

Less than two minutes later, it was 2-0. Winnipeg won a faceoff in the offensive zone and a slap shot from the point beat Joel Hofer.

The Blues top line cut the lead in half 30 seconds after that. A good hold in and strong puck movement finished with a shot from Marco Scandella and a near-side rebound on the backhand for Pavel Buchnevich.

The joy was short lived as the Jets restored the two-goal lead about five minutes later. The Blues turned the puck over at the offensive blue line as they were changing their lines. Kyle Connor came back the other way and snapped one past Hofer to make it 3-1.

St. Louis came out reasonably well in the second period, but they were not any more successful early in the period. However, the Blues would eventually be rewarded.

This time the second line put in the work to get the score. Brayden Schenn raced in to win the puck in the corner and after a few whacks at it, Brandon Saad chipped it over the goalie to make it 3-2 with about 11 minutes left.

The third period was mostly uneventful early on. Although both teams had power plays in the first 10 minutes, neither really threatened and the Blues actually gave up a two-on-one with the Jets shorthanded.

The Jets finally broke through after a scramble with about 10 minutes left. The puck came to the glove side and a lucky whack at the puck banked in off the sliding Hofer to make it 4-2.

Less than a minute after that, Zachary Bolduc almost had his second NHL goal. A fantastic one-timer from the left hashmark hit the iron and came out.

The Blues had good zone pressure once they pulled the goaltender, but just couldn't get through. They did get a power play with 40 seconds left, but there just wasn't enough time left and the Jets won 4-2.

Pro/Con: Hofer

The goaltending for the Blues has been pretty stellar all year long. However, they have their hiccups too.

On the one hand, Hofer played a pretty good game when you view the entire 60 minutes. He made a couple quality saves to keep the Blues in the game too.

However, if we are to be fair, he needed to make saves on two of the three goals in the first period. They weren't easy shots, but they weren't unstoppable.

The second goal was a blistering shot. There just didn't seem to be a ton of traffic in front and it came from near the blue line. You need your goalie to make that save.

On the third goal, blame the line change all you want, but it's the turnover that causes the problems. Although the transition play should never have happened and Connor has a great shot, you need Hofer to make the glove save in that situation. It just beat him.

Con: First period

Overall, this wasn't that terrible of a period. The Blues had better energy and ended up with 12 shots on goal.

It's hard to remember the last time St. Louis had double-digit shots. However, it's just how that first period impacted the rest of the game.

When you look at the last 40 minutes, the Blues outscored the Jets 2-1. When you go down 2-0 and then 3-1 after the first 20 minutes, it's just too hard to get a result.

The Blues have not been a good come from behind team all year, especially if they allow the first goal. Being down by two goals just makes it too much for this team to get past.


Ultimately, the mistakes the Blues made just cost them too much. They played much better than we saw in Detroit, but you can't keep making the same mistakes and think the results will be better.

That third goal ended up being the difference in the contest. I've never seen a team that gives it up at both blue lines as much as the Blues do.

Kelly Chase used to say it all the time. Jamie Rivers says it and several other former players and broadcasters say it all the time - the worst place to turn the puck over is at either blue line.

Hofer was good, but if he was great maybe the Blues win the game. I don't blame him for the loss at all, but as mentioned, you would just like him to make the saves on those two goals. However, it also highlights the fact the Blues don't seem to be able to win unless their goalies are stealing the W.

The offense was much better. They had double-digit shots in every period and I can't remember if that's happened at all this season. I'm sure it has, but it's been rare.

The counterpoint to that is asking how many big saves the Jets goalie had to make. Perhaps I'm overlooking some, but I don't really remember any. So, the Blues either scored, missed the net or just hit the goalie.

The Blues had a whopping 61.7% in the faceoff circle. Yet, they lost key draws late in the game.

It was just too much of a yin and yang game. There was some good, but it had the polar opposite bad to counter it.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if you play well if you lose at this point of the season. A poorly played win is much better since the Blues just need points.

Personally, I don't see that much more talent on the Jets bench but they're getting the job done. The bottom line is St. Louis is not.