St. Louis Blues Pros/Cons From 2023-24 Game 82 At Dallas

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues ended the 2023-24 season against the Dallas Stars. While the Blues usually played up or down to their opponents all year, they had nothing on the line as the Stars could still finish with the best record in the conference.

It started off rather inauspiciously for St. Louis. They did their typical only one shot until midway through the period.

The Blues also gave Dallas too much opportunity to get rolling early. The Stars had a power play in the first three minutes of the game.

Though St. Louis did a good job on the PK, they did allow some back door looks. Most didn't connect, but the Stars were coming close.

That continued for a few shifts after the power play, but then St. Louis settled in a bit. Their offense was still sparse, but not nonexistent.

The Blues got their own power play later in the period and probably should have scored. After getting the goaltender out of position, the puck came to Scott Perunovich out near the point. He flung a shot at what he thought was an empty goal, but Jake Ottinger did his best Superman impression, flying from post to post and swatting it away to keep the game scoreless.

The second period was a bit odd. It was a lot of back and forth, but in chunks. The Stars would have stretches where they had several chances, then it would swing the Blues way and then back.

It continued that way for most of the period. Although it was the Stars creating more and more often, the Blues actually struck first.

The Stars seemed to think they had picked up a partially loose puck in their zone as two players just split away. This allowed Robert Thomas to recollect it in the slot and then fire a shot from the right circle back across the grain. It beat the goalie high to the blocker side and the Blues were up 1-0 with about two minutes left.

Overall, the first half of the third period went similar to the second. However, the Stars were coming and you could sense a crack forming for the Blues.

Dallas was creating multiple looks at a time and then got another power play. Although the Blues did kill that off, the Stars scored shortly after.

There was a scramble in front and, overall, the Blues actually had defenders seemingly well placed. However, they were unable to get to the puck and Mason Marchment spun from the middle to the left and popped a wrister past a sliding Jordan Binnington to make it 1-1.

Going into the final four minutes, the shots were only 10-7 in favor of Dallas, but it felt like a much wider gap. The Stars continued to try the backdoor feed or shooting for the far post and were often missing by a thin margin.

The game went to overtime, meaning Dallas got the top seed in the West. All that remained was whether the Blues could rebound in OT for the second point.

Dallas nearly ended it on the first push down the ice. They fed it to the top of the circle on the near side and only a sliding glove save by Binnington kept the game going.

The Blues should have ended the game with around 1:45 left. Robert Thomas had an empty net on the backdoor feed and somehow shot it back across the grain and into the halfhearted stick save attempt by Ottinger.

This led to a penalty on the Blues during the rush the other way. The Blues narrowly killed that off and it went to a shootout.

Dallas scored on their first attempt with a backhander through the legs. Brayden Schenn came down with speed but had it go off the bottom of the glove.

The Stars tried the same thing, but with a forehand, but stuffed it into Binnington's pad. Jordan Kyrou waited and waited, but his shot went off the blocker and post.

Joe Pavelski was stopped by a left pad save. Thomas got stuffed and the Blues lost in the shootout by an overall final of 2-1.

Con: Shootout

The Blues actually had a good shootout record in 2023-24, coming in with a 5-1 record. However, the shot selection left some things to be desired.

I don't take anything away from any of the guys' effort. However, it just felt like things didn't matter.

Schenn came down with speed, but just shot randomly. It might have beaten a different goalie on a different night, but to me it didn't feel purposeful.

Kyrou and Thomas put on the moves, but they also forced themselves out of room. I understand sometimes you want to see what the goalie will give you, but it seemed apparent they had no plan.

Pro/Con: Thomas

Despite his inability to keep the game going in the shootout, Thomas had a pretty good performance overall.

His goal was solid. Instead of looking for a pass that might not materialize or waiting yourself into oblivion, Thomas fired at the net with purpose and got the goal.

He was good on faceoffs, placing second on the team in percentage for the night. He set up several chances too, but nobody found the finish on the other end.

The negative was actually that miss in overtime. Yes, he was handcuffed by the pass, but the goalie had given up. There was enough time to gather himself and put it into the middle of the net.

The fact he shot anywhere near the far post was ridiculous. I grant that it's the natural motion to push the puck in that spot, but you just have to finish the game off if you're truly an elite player


This game was kind of a microcosm for the tail end of the Blues season. They played well enough to win, but didn't deserve the W.

When you're missing wide open nets and not converting chances that you really need to, games slip away. Whether you're playing the best or the worst, if you let an opponent hang around, they make you pay.

The Blues did well to take the lead. They were not the dominant team, but they were forcing some decent saves from Ottinger.

In the end, it just wasn't good enough. The funny thing is I couldn't really point to what the Blues could have done different in many instances. Plenty of fans will say the team isn't tough enough in front of their net on the goal, but they're in the right spot and nobody is doing anything about that play because you're flat-footed in that scenario and the puck bounced the Stars way.

Yet, the Blues didn't force enough of their own bounces. They had an ok number of shots, but too much was one and done. All season there hasn't been enough sustained pressure where you could just feel the goal coming.

I give credit to the team. They didn't come out guns blazing, but they didn't pack it in either. This could have been embarrassing from a team with nothing to play for, but the Blues hung in there and just didn't have enough positive plays to get two points.