I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Nazem Kadri scored on the power play with 0.1 seconds left in the third to give the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 win over the St. Louis. Alexander Steen took a penalty leading to the Avs game-winner. For both teams, it was the first game in their roundrobin schedule before their playoffs start. Neither team played particularly great, but it was an excellent preview of a potential playoff series. For the Blues, they played exponentially better than they did against the Chicago Blackhawks, however, they will need to find another level if they would like to repeat.
David Perron got the Blues on the board first in the first on the power play. He rifled one in from the left circle from Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly. After an ugly start, the Blues showed some life. That was the only goal scored in the first in a period dominated by Colorado.
Jordan Binnington: If there was any worry that he would be rusty after the layoff, let those fears to rest. Binner was on his game, stopping 36-38 shots from a powerful Avalanche offense. He was tested right away as well. Colorado dominated the 1st (trust me, we will get there) and Binnington stopped all 16 shots he saw. Both goals given up were a little fluky. Ryan Graves went to pass, missed the puck, and just fired it. The Kadri goal was off a rebound that shouldn’t have been allowed.
The Penalty Kill: Up until the last penalty, on which the game-winning goal was scored, they were excellent. The Avs were 0-4 with just four shots on goal. Very rarely were they allowed to set up and fire them on net without someone in the way. Against a team like Colorado, you can’t afford to take so many penalties, however. Penalties will seem to be called at will, so it will be important for this unit to remain excellent.
Robert Thomas: The young Blues forward was all over the ice. Thomas made some wonderful plays through the neutral zone on a night it seemed the Blues just wanted to dump it in. He was dangerous on the 2nd power-play unit and set up several decent chances.
Top line production: Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko were largely invisible five on five. They were shut down by the Avalanche defense and forwards all night long. Schwartz was unable to gain the zone with possession like he so often can. For the Blues to make a run, they need to be the best line on the team.
That first period: Colorado did whatever they wanted in the first. Outshot 16-4, hemmed in the entire time, Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog were just getting shot after shot. The only reason it wasn’t 4-1 or 5-1 was due to Binnington playing well. Kudos to the Blues for capitalizing on their power play chance, but this isn’t 2019. They can’t keep having ugly first periods.
The Kadri goal was the latest goal scored in NHL postseason history. I know technically this isn’t “playoffs”, but the stats are counted, so whatever.
Alex Pietrangelo went down after blocking a shot late in the 3rd. The shot hit off his knee and had to be helped off the ice. Blues coach Craig Berube said after the game that he was fine. We shall see on Thursday.
Speaking of Thursday, the Blues will take on the Vegas Golden Knights. The Avalanche will play the Dallas Stars Wednesday night.
WEAR A MASK
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