St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 62 At NY Islanders

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues sought to get an actual win streak going, pushing their potential total to three straight. Standing in their way was a New York Islanders team that had been pretty hot since the two met at the end of February.

The Blues had their typical slow start. Like in Philadelphia, the Blues weren't bad at the beginning, but they just don't seem to have any fire when the game starts.

The shots were 7-4 in the first eight minutes. Then, St. Louis finally woke up a little toward the midway point of the first.

The Blues finally started getting some actual chances and upping their shot total. Although they did get outshot in the first, it ended 10-8.

The Blues lone power play of the period moved the puck well. They couldn't get the job done to convert into a goal, however.

The Blues managed to get on the board early in the second. In a reverse of how it usually goes, the Blues took advantage of a bad turnover at the blue line.

The Islanders just floated a strange pass from the wall to the middle of the zone at the Blues line, but nobody was really there. Alexey Toropchenko went the other way and snapped one into the net for a 1-0 lead just 80 seconds in.

St. Louis almost handed the Isles a tying goal around six minutes in. A poor pass from Joel Hofer behind the net led to a turnover, but Hofer managed to get just enough of the shot to deflect it across the crease and off the opposite post.

Hofer was strong on the next Islanders' couple shifts, making some key saves. That led to a Blues transition.

With the Isles in control of the puck near their own net, Brandon Saad picked the pocket. He then slid it across for a back-door tap in by Jordan Kyrou and a 2-0 lead with just over nine minutes left.

The shutout wouldn't last, though. A long stretch pass up the left wing found Kyle Palmieri and he had just enough of an angle on Justin Faulk that Faulk couldn't do much, so Palmieri lowered the shoulder and drove far post to slide it past Hofer.

That goal was probably a long time coming. The Isles were unfortunate not to score earlier.

Unfortunately, things completely swung the other way by the end of the period. New York won a faceoff late in the period and found their own man for a back door empty net shot and it was 2-2

The Isles carried the momentum through the intermission. Bo Horvat collected his own rebound and stuffed it in off Hofer's skate on a wrap around and it was 3-2 just 55 seconds in.

New York put the game on ice with 30 seconds left. The Blues had far too may people engaged in a battle on the end wall and as the puck came out, Matthew Barzal went down the ice all alone and slid it into an empty net for a 4-2 win.

Con: Offense

Normally, you wouldn't complain too much about a night where you scored two goals. That's often not enough to win, but it isn't a terrible night.

However, that's only if you look at the score sheet. The bottom line is the Blues offense was often non-existent.

St. Louis continues to be one of the worst teams in the league during five-on-five play since the coaching change. I'm not sure if so much emphasis was put on the power play that everything else has slipped or what, but it's true.

The Blues again had no periods with double-digit shots. The second period was bad, as usual. Despite the two goals, they only had five total shots.

Both Blues goals came off turnovers. So, St. Louis really didn't manufacture any offense of their own.

They forced the occasional save, but there's nothing sustained. This is a team trying to be a rush team and they're not really good enough to be that.

Pro: Hofer

Win or lose, for the most part, the one thing you can count on for the Blues lately is good goaltending. Although he let up three goals, there really wasn't much he could do on any of them.

If you want to be picky, maybe he has different positioning on Horvat's initial shot or kicks the rebound further away, but that's more difficult than it looks on a slow motion replay. The reality is that it was such a quick play, there wasn't a lot different he could have done.

Hofer made some mistakes handling the puck, but his actual goaltending was on point. He finished the night with 30 saves and many of them were high quality saves.

Con: Four unanswered

The way games unfold, sometimes it's not a true showcase of how the game was played if you only look at the score. However, it was pretty on point for this one.

The Blues jumped out to a two-goal lead and you would think they could sustain things and, maybe, even increase the lead. Instead, they built nothing and let it swing completely the other way without a single counter punch.

Even if you don't count the empty net goal, the Blues allowed three unanswered goals through the run of play. Similarly to the game in Philly, many of their best chances didn't even count as shots.

The Blues are either trying to be too cute or too accurate, giving themselves no room for error. You're not going to have 40 shots every night, but having 20 is not enough. Having five or six shots in second periods is not good enough.

Yes, there was an intermission in between, but the Blues allowed two goals in 3:09 of game time to make it 3-2. Things happen and New York is also trying to gain the last playoff spot in the East, but there has to be more push and there wasn't any.


This team boggles the mind. They put in a hard effort and the big guns had a lot of ice time in Philly.

However, I just didn't get a real sense that fatigue was the problem. Being tired never helps, so maybe it played a part, but it was just a dud of a game in terms of execution.

Although they got the win in Philly, it was the same. There wasn't enough good play to really deserve the win, they just didn't play bad enough to lose. It was the opposite in this game, where they didn't play bad enough to lose, but there wasn't nearly enough good to deserve a win and they lost.

I don't know what this team needs. The defense isn't great, but it's often not the problem in terms of actual in-zone defending. The Blues continue to lose battles and get punished in transition. The turnovers weren't as big a problem, but they still exist.

The offense should be more talented than it is. Yes, you're probably asking guys that are middle six to do more than they're capable of, but you need people to step up in crunch time and nobody is.

The team's captain is a non-factor most games. The top line is the only one that is offensively dynamic, but they can be a defensive liability.

This current fourth line would be perfectly fine on a good team, but with the way things are they're expected to do way too much for a fourth line. It's just not good enough all around for everyone that isn't wearing a goalie mask.

New York has been on a win streak, now winning four in a row, so it's not surprising they had such a good push. The Blues were on the second game of a back-to-back, but we've seen the same performance in games where they were well rested, so I doubt that was the deciding factor.