St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 74 Vs San Jose

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues knew they couldn't let their guard down. Despite the San Jose Sharks having one of the worst records in the league, the Blues had lost 5-1 to the Fins the last time.

St. Louis came out fast and hard, playing with an edge we aren't used to seeing. Unfortunately, the quick start didn't amount to any finishing.

The Blues put on a lot of pressure. They had two partial breakaways and several rush plays into the offensive zone too.

The best look of the first period was a break in by Brayden Schenn. He tried to go to the backhand for the scoop, but Mackenzie Blackwood got the pad to it on the sliding save.

The Blues had 11 shots, 27 attempts and seven shots from the slot. It stayed close 0-0.

For his part, Joel Hofer was challenged by not being challenged. He only faced three shots, but it had that feeling of being dangerous in that we've seen teams held to no offense and then sneaking one in.

The Sharks started adding more worry early in the second period. They forced a couple early saves from Hofer and also clanged one off the post.

The Blues did not have a shot on goal in the first nine minutes and that cost them. Zach Bolduc turned the puck over in the near corner and the Sharks skated out to the slot and whipped it over the blocker side to make it 1-0.

On the very next shift, Justin Faulk took a delay of game penalty when he missed the glass on a clearance. Fortunately, the Blues killed it off and only relinquished one shot.

The wheels continued to fall off in the second period. The Sharks won a defensive faceoff, transitioned into the offensive zone, had a shot from the slot go off the post and they knocked in the rebound to make it 2-0.

Minutes later, it seemed like the Blues were bound to score. Schenn was open on the back door, but the Sharks defender broke up the play with a diving stick.

The nail in the coffin for the second period came around the 18 minute mark. The puck took a strange hop off the boards and came out in front. Hofer got back to the crease, but never really got set and St. Louisan Luke Kunin beat him over the right arm to make it 3-0.

St. Louis tried to turn it on in the third, but it just wasn't to be. Blackwood was making saves on all the shots that did get through and the Blues had no luck on the others.

They missed the net 17 times in the second period. It continued in the third, including a Torey Krug shot that beat the goalie but hit the post about halfway through.

The boo-birds came out during a Blues power play with around seven minutes left in the period. The man advantage didn't accomplish anything, much less come close to score.

The Blues pulled the goaltender with about four minutes left and that sealed what we already knew was going to happen. The Sharks scored from their own slot to make it 4-0

Con: Second period

How in the world can you dominate the first period and be unfortunate not to score and then get dominated in the second period? If you want to know, you better find some of the Blues players for the answer.

It was almost a perfect mirror image. The Blues outshot the Sharks 11-3 in the first and got outshot 12-3 in the second.

The Blues didn't even have their first shot on goal until the period was almost 15 minutes old. I'm sick of that garbage. It's not just a Blues thing, but there was nothing the Sharks were doing to prevent shots. The Blues just couldn't even get in the zone and didn't even look to get shots. It's pathetic.

These are professional hockey players and you only get three shots on goal? You're facing a team with one win in their last 18 games and you allow three goals in 20 minutes? It was disgusting.

Con: Offense

This is more of a frustration level than something backed up by stats. The offense just didn't do anything, literally and figuratively.

If you only read the stats, it doesn't seem that way. They had 37 shots and over 60 attempts.

However, Blackwood really only stood on his head in the first period when the team had 11 shots. The third period featured a lot of shots, but it just never felt like they were about to score.

The best chances hit the posts. Blackwood allowed some rebounds too, but the Blues weren't around to capitalize like they had been in recent games.

On the one hand, you can't fault the Blues for not trying since they had 23 shots in the third period. As I said, it just didn't feel like they were going to crack that egg though.


I'm usually pretty good at finding at least one positive, but there just wasn't in this game. The funny thing is St. Louis has had far worse performances, but this was just a disheartening game.

I understand the Sharks have wins over some very good teams in the league. They also beat the Blues not long ago as well.

But, even as poor as the Blues have been, they have no business losing to a team like San Jose. No offense, but the Sharks started Klim Kostin. That should be an indicator about their roster.

However, either the Blues thought things would be easy after the first period or they got discouraged by coming out empty handed after such a good opening frame. I con't remember such a drastic turnaround for the worse from the first to the second.

As mentioned, how in the world can you not get a shot on goal for almost 15 minutes straight? I don't understand it.

I am normally against booing the team. Everyone has off nights.

However, I felt it was deserved in this one. The goals were a little bit of bad luck, but the bottom line is the Blues didn't find a way to step on the Sharks throat early on and that let those things happen.

The power play was ineffective again. It could have provided a spark at some really neccessary times, but failed to do so.

Mathematically, the Blues are still alive since the LA Kings have fallen back to the pack, but it's pretty much over now. St. Louis almost has to win all their remaining games and I believe their longest winning streak is five games - maybe six.

I saw a few people saying the Blues got what they deserved for starting Hofer. Hofer wasn't 100% on his game, but he only faced 20 shots and only three in the first period. It's hard for a goalie to be 100% engaged when there's no work and then it completely changes and there's weird bounces that go against your team.

The broadcast crew mentioned how the Blues have lost to San Jose, Columbus and Chicago. If you won all those games as you should have, the Blues would be a playoff team. These results show why they aren't.