St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 60 Vs Minnesota

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50)
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

When you get towards playoff time, it only matters that you got the job done. The St. Louis Blues took that to heart in their game against the Minnesota Wild.

Although the Blues came out with some jump and energy, it was a flat first period for both teams. It was not bad hockey at all, but it wasn't what you would expect from two teams battling for their playoff lives.

Nevertheless, the Blues opened things up right. They got the first goal and scored in the first seven minutes.

Seeing the game live, at the arena, it looked like Scott Perunovich may have had his first NHL goal. However, it was deflected by Alexey Toropchenko, went off the post, back off the goalie's skate and then crossed the goal line by the thinnest of margins. The margin was so thin that it may have not been called a goal if the call was no goal on the ice.

Despite the goal and some decent looks, the Blues only managed seven shots on goal. Minnesota had the same, which highlighted the oddness of this game despite its importance.

Things got worse in the second period. There were 14 combined shots again and, somehow, the Blues ended up with nine of those.

You wouldn't know it based on the eye test. St. Louis was hemmed into their own zone for lengthy stretches of the middle frame and started getting worn down.

I wasn't keeping track, but they had several icing calls against them and were barely getting away with it each time. That changed when Jon Merrill tied it up. The Blues iced the puck, Minnesota kept it in the zone after a couple bad exit attempts by St. Louis and Merrill snapped a wrister over the shoulder of Jordan Binnington from the high slot. You could see it coming.

Fortunately, the Blues didn't let the tie game last too long. Shortly after, they drew a penalty and the power play connected.

The Blues came right back into the zone after a bad clearance by Minnesota and Robert Thomas took the initial shot from the right circle. Jake Neighbours cashed in on a juicy rebound and it was 2-1 with about seven minutes left in the second.

Although the Blues were the sloppy team in the second period, the Wild were not on point in the third. You could tell they were pressing and antsy to get the tying goal.

St. Louis did a little too much absorbing pressure in the early stages of the period, but they seemed comfortable and not out of their element. Binnington was making most things look comfortable, although Minnesota missed some sitters too.

It appeared headed towards one of those hold on to your butts kind of finishes, but the Blues got their insurance goal with 49 seconds left. Snake-bitten Torey Krug finally got some luck as he flung the puck from the goal line out. It took a strange bounce and roll to veer back towards the middle, but it went into the empty net and the Blues won 3-1.

Pro: Binnington

This was one of those sneaky good games for Jordan Binnington. Not everything was flashy and, ultimately, the Wild only had a total of 22 shots.

However, there was some quality ones and Binnington was getting his work in even when he didn't have to make the save. There were several plays that just missed or Binnington was not credited with a save, but his movement and presence forced the shooter out of position.

The biggest save of the game didn't even look like a save initially. Binnington sprawled out on a play to his right but it looked like Kaprisov shot it high. The refs said the faceoff stayed in the zone and upon seeing the replay, he got a blocker to it to preserve the game.

The win puts Binnington third all time on the Blues W list.

Pro/Con: Power play

The problem with the Blues power play in this game, and really even since the coaching change is that they either score or don't even look a threat. There's very little in the middle.

St. Louis had a total of seven power plays. They also had a five-on-three as well.

Of the seven, three looked decent and one of those led to the goal. So, the four other ones were literally complete wastes of time.

The Blues were particularly bad on faceoffs on their power plays, which forces them to regain the zone. On their poor power plays, not only did they rarely get a shot, but they barely got shot attempts. There was no threat at all and then two minutes was off the clock like that.

However, when they scored, they were good. They got right back in the zone after a clearance, got a quick shot and the traffic in front caused the rebound and scored.

The two other power plays they looked alright on were at least moving the puck well and worked the Wild around. I get that not every power play attempt will be like the last, but there's nothing resembling consistency. They either look like they will score and do or they look hesitant and something much closer to the awfulness we saw at the start of the season.


The bottom line of the game is the Blues won and they got two points. The reality is that, despite a 3-1 finish, the Blues were not that great.

They still continue to turn the puck over in some of the worst spots on the ice. We still see them get hemmed in their zone and either ice the puck continuously or turn it over.

The defense was actually pretty good in this game. There were several scrambles where they helped out and Binnington was there when he needed to be.

The offense is still baffling though. You get a power play goal and an empty net goal, which means only one goal was at five-on-five.

That goal was a tipped puck that barely went in. Even so, that should give you the courage to put more pucks on net, just in case.

The Blues don't seem to take that mentality. I'm not saying chuck pucks at the net for the sake of it because that would backfire, but they're just not even really looking to score on some shifts (yes, that's an exaggeration, but still).

In the grand scheme, there wasn't a ton wrong with this game. There wasn't a ton right either.

The crowd was kind of bland for a Saturday evening game while you're fighting for your playoff lives. They weren't completely dead, but you would not have known the building was as full as it was.

The game kind of went the same way. The Blues played fine, but there wasn't that pop and that explosiveness you would want to see from a team scratching and clawing for everything.

They got the win though and now it's back on the road for the next five.