St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 61 At Philadelphia

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a decent performance against the Minnesota Wild, the St. Louis Blues were looking to build a winning streak. Their first game on a five-game road trip was against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Things opened up well enough for the Blues. They were playing evenly with the Flyers and the shots were 4-4 during that feeling out period.

Unfortunately, the Blues should have had the first goal of the game and it all went wrong. The Blues came in on a rush play and Pavel Buchnevich got handcuffed on a Jordan Kyrou pass. He tried to backhand it into an empty net from near the goal line, but it slid off his stick and the goalie unknowingly kicked it out.

Robert Thomas came in support but got the puck on his backhand. His shot toward an empty net was blocked, but there were three guys in front of the net, so it wasn't as cut and dry.

A Blues penalty turned things. The Flyers had almost all the shots after that, pushing it up to 11 total shots before the Blues got their fifth.

St. Louis' best chances, including that odd-man rush, didn't even count as shots. Late in the first, Kevin Hayes had a good look, but it went off a stick and out of play. Then, Jordan Kyrou hit the crossbar and the Flyers eventually took it the other way on a rush.

The odd-man rush and subsequent scramble ended up with the puck in the back of the net. The Flyers grabbed the 1-0 lead with less than two minutes left, proving those missed chances were huge by St. Louis.

Interestingly, things swung the other way in the second period. It did not seem like it would be that way initially, however.

The Flyers had the jump on the Blues in the early part of the period. Jordan Binnington kept the Blues in the game with some big saves, as he usually does.

Although they failed to score, the Blues power play seemed to get the team going. They had three good looks, which spurred the offense.

St. Louis would tied the game almost 16 minutes in on a strange play. Hayes had been knocked down near the Flyers blue line.

However, Philly turned the puck over near the Blues zone and Kasperi Kapanen sprang the breakaway for Hayes. Hayes then proceeded to fumble the puck on a deke, but it slid through the goalie's legs and it was 1-1.

The Blues had some other decent chances towards the end of the second too. They could not convert.

The third was almost a carbon copy of the first period. The Blues had no statistical offense.

They ended the period with five shots on goal and barely tested the goalie at all. Meanwhile, the Flyers had 14 shots with a couple good saves forced from Binnington.

The Blues best offense, once again, didn't even hit the net. Credit to the Flyers for having a million blocked shots, but c'mon.

The game went to overtime. The Blues had the puck for an entire 1:39 without turning it over, but they couldn't take advantage of the tired defenders.

The Flyers got a couple rush plays, but the Blues managed to get back and only one resulted in a Binnington save. With a little over a minute left, the Blues turned it over with an awful stretch pass and the Flyers dinged one off the crossbar.

Binnington made another huge save in the final minute. Robert Thomas took a terrible angle on the back check, but Binnington made a blocker save to preserve things and force a shootout.

The Flyers' initial shooter fanned on the puck. Robert Thomas shot right into the pad.

Binnington made a great pad save. Jake Neighbours slid the puck five hole.

The Flyers scored on their final regulation shooter to keep things alive. Schenn was stopped, Binner made another save and then Pavel Buchnevich won it with a fablulous backhand that just snuck past the skate and the post.

Pro: Second period

The Blues continue to puzzle. Some games, the second period is their absolute worst.

However, when that is not the case, it tends to be their best. That was definitely the case in this game.

It was the only period where St. Louis had double digit shots. It was the only period in regulation where they scored as well.

The Blues actually hit the net and threatened in this 20 minutes of play. Who knows why.

More often than not, teams struggle with the long change and get hemmed in. The Blues seemed confident with the puck and limited their turnovers and defensive zone time.

Con: First and third

If you want a mirror image to the second period, you only needed to watch the first and second. It was so strange to watch.

If you only look at the box score, you'd think the Blues did not show up. That was not the case, but they could not get statistical shots.

As mentioned, they had decent looks - more in the first period for sure. However, they either got blocked, shot wide or hit the crossbar/post.

Conversely, the Blues did much more defending in those periods. Binnington was much busier as well, especially in the third period where he had to make 14 saves in 20 minutes.

The Blues weren't bad, but they relied too much on their goalie and couldn't get much sustained offense.

Pro/Con: Special teams

The stats pretty much held up in this game. The Flyers came in with the league's best penalty kill and the league's second worst power play.

Neither team scored on their power play opportunities. The Blues penalty kill didn't give up many good looks, so they did their job.

Meanwhile, the power play just couldn't get rolling on their second two opportunities. They had three shots on that first period power play and spurred the offense.

After that, they couldn't even enter the zone. Philly showed why they have the top PK since they wouldn't even let the Blues into the zone, but it just felt like there were ways to get in and the Blues just looked puzzled.

Pro: Binner and Kyrou

The two have nothing to do with one another, but this section will still be short enough that I combined them. One we've come to expect and the other was a little sneaky.

Binnington was just his normal self. He finished the game with 40 saves on 41 shots. Not all of them were world beaters, but he made some key saves and was a gigantic reason the Blues won.

He made big saves in OT and the shootout as well.

Meanwhile, although there were plenty of haters still on social media, this was a solid game for Kyrou. He didn't end up on the stat sheet, but it was the things you don't expect that he managed.

He was getting back and even broke up a potential scoring play in the third period. He's never going to be Mr. Toughguy, but he was stronger on the puck and even won a board battle in a key spot late.


This is one of those games where the result is much more important than the style. This was not the Blues best performance, but they leave Philly with two points.

If it was not for their goaltender, they wouldn't have even got one point. Again, they didn't play all that poorly, but there wasn't enough quality in the first and third periods.

Credit to the Flyers for getting in front of everything. They had 27 blocked shots in this game and I think there were some that deflected off their sticks that weren't counted as blocks too.

Conversely, the Blues had 14 blocks, so the Flyers could actually have had more than 50 shots otherwise. Defensively, St. Louis was pretty good, but they did allow a few too many rushes against them.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I still don't like three-on-three overtime, nor the shootout. In this particular game, it benefited the Blues because they got the win.

There's little time to celebrate as the Blues face the New York Islanders 24 hours from the Philly puck drop. Hopefully they don't need another overtime game, but can get the full two points again.