St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 67 Vs Minnesota

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The St. Louis Blues faced the Minnesota Wild for the third time in 2023-24, and the second time in about two weeks. Both teams had traded 3-1 home wins coming into this game and everything else was pretty even.

They both had identical, poor, records against the Central Division. They were both on the outside looking in for the playoffs, with the Wild a point ahead of St. Louis.

The first period started well and then went on a roller coaster. The Blues got some early pressure in their first three shots on goal.

Then, they started their awful habit of just coughing the puck up around the blue lines. That allowed the Wild to get their way into the game. Both goalies had to make a couple big saves to keep the game 0-0. It was the physicality that really kept things interesting though.

The Blues had some success in the second, but they kept getting in their way. Jordan Kyrou created a turnover, but passed it off and then Robert Thomas made an extra pass, which generated no shot.

Fortunately, the Blues earned a power play the next time the top line was out. It took next to no time to score with Jake Neighbours getting a little spin pass from the far edge of the crease to Kyrou for an easy tap in and a 1-0 score almost six minutes in.

The Wild were held shotless in the period through almost half of the second period. Then they started coming hard.

Brodin knifed his way through two defenders and past three overall to get a mini-breakaway, but Binnington made the save. The Wild kept the Blues on the ice for almost two full minutes and there were several scrambles, netting four shots in that span alone.

The second Blues power play, earned with a delay of game, was not nearly as successful. The first unit barely gained the zone, kept fumbling the puck and Neighbours almost hurt himself sliding into the boards. The second unit looked better, but there were still no shots on goal for that attempt.

St. Louis wasted no time getting on the board in the third period. Brayden Schenn took it zone to zone on the left wing and wired a wrist shot to end the transition play and scored 27 seconds in to make it 2-0.

That goal proved to be beneficial as the Wild scored off a turnover less than a minute in. Zach Bolduc hit a rut in the ice and turned it over in the Blues zone and Marco Rossi scooped it through the five-hole with the defender playing the pass.

The game went back and forth for the next few minutes. The Wild had the best chance with another Boldy breakaway just over nine minutes in, but Binnington stood tall again.

The period kept see-sawing back and forth. The Blues would get a chance, then Minnesota would answer. St. Louis had an odd-man rush during a stretch of four-on-four play and the Wild came back the other way, both teams forcing good saves.

Minnesota would eventually tie the game 16 minutes in. After a faceoff win, Minnesota set up a designed play and somehow Kirill Kaprisov got free for a back-door tap in to just barely get it past Binnington for the 2-2 score.

Overtime was just as back and forth. The Blues had some early looks, then Binnington had to make a couple saves. Then, about halfway through, Brandon Saad was absolutely stoned by Marc-Andre Fleury. The game went to a shootout.

Robert Thomas had Fleury beat, but the puck slipped away on the backhand attempt. The Wild shot high on their first.

Neighbours tried to cut the shot back to the blocker side, but he also shot wide. Binnington made a glove side on Kaprisov.

Schenn put the pressure on with one deke and a goal just under the blocker. However, Boldy scored to keep things going.

Kyrou kept waiting and waiting and just managed to tuck a backhander over the pad and past the blocker. Frederick Gaudreau tried the same thing, as far as waiting, and ran out of space as he got to the goal line before he tried a shot. The Blues won 3-2, but the point for Minnesota makes them stay ahead in the standings.

Pro: Binnington

Similar to how the power play was a copy and past as a con early in the season, you can pretty much copy and past the goaltender for the Blues as a pro now. Both Binnington and Joel Hofer are dialed in right now and it was Binnington's turn again.

Binner didn't face his usual number of shots, but he still had to shut down some quality looks. He stopped 22 of 24 and probably made 10, or so, big saves.

The Wild didn't have a ton of sustained pressure, but sometimes that's actually harder for a goalie to have longer stretches without. Still, it doesn't matter if it's 22 or 42 saves, but it comes down to the wins.

Con: Still concerning lapses

There weren't as many problems as we've seen throughout the season, but there's still problems with this team. They still lack that killer instinct to really crush the hope of their opponent.

The Blues were the better team for the majority of this game, but only led 1-0 going into the third and then gave up a 2-0 lead. Things are never easy in this lead, but the Blues sometimes make it hard on themselves.

Part of that was more turnovers near the blue line. St. Louis cleaned it up as the game went on, but Minnesota was struggling out of the gate and then the Blues just got careless.

The ones near their own blueline are inexcusable, but the ones in the offensive zone might actually be more frustrating. The lack of urgency to get the puck deep or stickhandle through a potential hit almost always leads to this ridiculous habit of pulling up along the boards and then just coughing the puck up. Even guys that are normally strong on the puck, like Kevin Hayes, have been doing it.

Pro: Kyrou and Schenn

It's been a rough stretch for the captain and the guy we still hope can be a pure goal scorer in this league. Kyrou had one goal in his last 12 games and seemed like he stopped even trying to score. Schenn didn't have a point in his last 10 games and hadn't scored a goal since January 28.

So, for both to get a regulation goal and both score in the shootout was big for the team and for their individual confidence. I'm not going to pretend this might get either, or both, on some big hot streak, but they need to both be more confident on the offensive end.

Schenn is always going to provide that physicality. Kyrou was also doing a pretty good job of getting back to help. He's never going to be a defensive forward, but if the effort is there, that's what you want.

Pro: Defense (kind of)

The reason this is a pro, but not 100%, is kind of down to numbers vs. eye test. The numbers were good, but when your goalie still has to be a main focus, you do ask questions.

For the first time in what feels like forever, the Blues did not allow double-digit shots in any period. Numbers wise, the first period was particularly good, only allowing six shots.

The shot totals went 6, 8, 8 and two in overtime. The Blues also blocked 37 shots too, so guys were sacrificing themselves.

The only drawback, again, was Binnington having to make several quality saves. Nobody will ever stop every good look, but the back door is still somewhat there and how you lose track of Kaprisov for the second Wild goal was a little concerning.


My only real gripe about this game is the Blues gave the Wild a point. Instead of being tied with Minnesota, you remain a point behind.

The power play was decent overall. You score just a minute into the first one, working the puck around very quickly. The second one was mediocre, but the second unit just ran out of time. I do wish they would change lines earlier when it's apparent the top unit isn't clicking.

In reality, the Blues were a little unfortunate to not win in regulation. Minnesota was the beneficiary of a guy falling down on their first goal and then just had some missed coverage on the second.

The Blues were disciplined, not giving Minnesota a power play. The only penalties taken were always matching minors.

There's no time to celebrate though. Anaheim is in town less than 24 hours later and the Blues don't have a great track record against teams below them.