St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 76 At Nashville

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues knew they needed a quick start and a great performance to beat the Nashville Predators and stay in the playoff race. It didn't go that way early on.

The Blues turned the puck over at the attacking blue line and it was a two-on-one the other way. Roman Josi never even thought of passing and a quick wrister went through Jordan Binnington and the Preds had a 1-0 lead just 31 seconds in.

The Blues took over from there and dominated the period. They tied the game almost eight minutes in with a nice give and go play finished off by Brandon Saad near the inner hashmarks.

The problem became the Blues couldn't find that finish. Juuse Saros made some big saves and the Blues just didn't have some luck.

In a rare occurance, the Blues had 20 shots in the first period alone. However, when you're tied after a good offensive output, it felt like things could go against them.

That's just what happened in the second period. Saad was called for an early penalty and Philip Forsberg took the 2-1 lead with a power play goal from the left circle.

The salt in the wound was the puck was actually partially deflected by Robert Thomas in a block attempt. It still felt like it could have been a savable puck, but it was a double whammy no matter what.

The Blues continued to get shots on and pucks towards the net. They had close to 65 attempts through two periods, but found themselves down by two after 40 minutes.

The Predators got another power play goal late in the period. It was nothing but effort and luck, but they all count.

Binnington made the initial save from the left wing and then a Blues defenseman actually knocked the puck away from the Nashville man in front. Unfortunately, it went right to Anthony Beauvillier on the backside post and he tapped it in for a 3-1 score.

The nail in the coffin came four minutes into the third. Torey Krug had a terrible zone exit pass, which led to essentially a three-on-one in the zone. The Preds snapped a shot from the left circle that snuck through Binnington again and it was 4-1.

The Blues always seem to find a way to give you a glimmer of hope in these situations. Jake Neighbours finally cracked the Saros egg again and made it 4-2 with a snap shot. It came after Binnington stopped an odd man rush and the Blues sprang the break with a rainbow pass.

The Blues pulled the goalie with 12:30 left when the game was four-on-four, but fortunately weren't scored on since it felt too early. It got down to 2:30 and a Blues powerplay for the empty net to actually pay off.

St. Louis scored just 16 seconds into the power play. Jordan Kyrou, who had played well all night finally connected on a backdoor one-timer to make it 4-3.

The Blues turned back into the Blues though and turned the puck over in the offensive zone, near the wall. The Preds sprang Forsberg and he put it into the empty net for a 5-3 score.

It would finish 6-3 after another empty net goal with the Blues on the power play. Ultimately it didn't matter, but a pass out of their own zone wasn't even expected and went right to a Nashville player.

Con: Binnington

Binnington was more mediocre than bad. Mediocre might actually be strong, but the problem was he wasn't at his very best.

You can often tell what kind of night he will have based on his movements. When he's calm and smooth, he's on. When he's antsy and frenetic, it's going to be tough.

Binnington never looked quite settled in this one. It's never good to allow a goal in the first minute and when it squeaked through his glovehand elbow, it looks even worse.

It's hard to judge the second goal. In real speed, there's no time to react to the change of direction off Thomas' stick. Yet, the question is still why there was any delay in getting the legs down when you anticipate a shot no matter what.

The third goal was pure luck. The fourth goal, you'd love Binner to save it since it hit him, but that pass has to get out of the zone.

It's just an example of what happens when your goalie steals you games all year and then has an off night.

Pro: Kyrou

In a losing effort, Kyrou's game will go completely unnoticed. However, he played like the player the Blues need for much of the game.

Kyrou created offense all night long. Saros stoned him a couple times, but the goal was a just reward.

Additionally, Kyrou was much more well rounded. He won puck battles, was stronger on the puck and actually got in on the forecheck a couple times.

Con: Special teams

Although you can look to Binnington as a person to blame, I blame the special teams on both sides even more. It boils down to simple math.

Through two periods, the Blues were 0-4 on the power play, 1-6 overall, and Nashville was 2-2 on theirs and finished 2-3 overall. Kill off one more of those and score on one of your own and it's a different game.

To be fair, it wasn't the typical failed Blues power plays. They got pucks on and created chances and kept the puck in the zone. However, when you don't get finishes, it costs you.

St. Louis had to make Nashville pay for being undisciplined and they didn't.


This game was nothing like how the 2023-24 season has gone, but it still fit right in. The Blues were actually the better team and just couldn't get the job done.

It was just all over the place. St. Louis needed to do better on the power play. 1-6 isn't the end of the world, but they needed to get one or two more goals to really change the complexion of it all.

The penalty kill wasn't even bad, in fact it might have been pretty decent. However, an unlucky bounce finds an opponent on the far post and a block attempt goes off our stick and through our goalie's legs

St. Louis had at least 80 attempts at goal and 47 on goal. They ran into a hot goaltender at the worst time possible.

The offense has been non-existent and then gets stoned when they do almost everything right.

Ultimately, it boiled down to a lack of special teams, an off night for Binnington and some bad puck management. The sixth goal almost doesn't count, but there were at least two, if not three goals allowed off turnovers again and that just can't happen.

St. Louis hit a post on what looked like a sure Neighbours goal in the first. Toropchenko got stopped on the doorstep too.

It was about as good as you can play and somehow lose. Sadly, this all but eliminates the Blues from the playoffs.

They're not mathematically out yet, but it's going to take more than them winning every remaining game to stay alive now. This loss just highlights the failed attempts against the bottom teams like Chicago, Columbus and San Jose.