Well the Blues didn't lose to the last place Edmonton Oilers. No one appeared to get hurt during the game (Erik Johnson was a last-second scratch with an unknown malady). Chris Mason played pretty well and got lucky near the final minute with the puck hitting him in the chest as he was moving laterally, literally not looking at the puck. And that's about it.
It wasn't the most thrilling game ever. Seemed pretty apparent that the Blues were playing safe most of the game. I mean, the Blues only had 20 shots on goal in a game where they didn't score first and not until the second period. The shot total was their third lowest of the season. They didn't take a ton of chances, they didn't press the issue as much as they could. And still it was enough to beat the reeling, injury-depleted Oilers.
During the game I had a flashback to the 2005-06 season for the Blues. That year St. Louis finished dead last and often played just well enough not to win but to not get blown out. There were a lot of 4-2 losses, 5-3 losses sprinkled around 2-1 defeats. That's Edmonton's situation right now. Sure they were trying to come back and tie it late and they couldn't generate much offensive pressure. The Blues should have had an empty net but B.J. Crombeen blew it. See what I did there?
The goals for St. Louis came from Eric Brewer (the scorers claimed Keith Tkachuk tipped it, but I couldn't see it) on a long shot from the point that somehow found the far upper corner of the net and off the stick of Alex Steen. Both were shot from fairly long distances (the blue line and at the top of the right circle).
Let's get random.
- Mike Weaver is hot and cold with me. Dude doesn't know what he's doing in the offensive zone. He's kind of a stranger in a strange land down there. But when it comes to a situation where the puck is fired from the point, Monkey Butt is going to find a way to get in front of the shot. He's a hairy version of Jay McKee after getting stuck in the dryer on high heat for two days.
- It's too bad the Blues don't play more often in Alberta. Did you know Chris Mason is from Red Deer, Alberta and that he loves playing in front of friends and family there? We hear it every game in Alberta.
- With David Backes in the lineup again, is he going to start scoring more often?
- Andy McDonald has points in six straight games. Damn that guy is important. Why doesn't he have a letter on his sweater? Former Stanley Cup winner, competitive guy, always hustling. Shame he doesn't have an A on his chest. If it matters.
- D.J. King will be done with his rehab assignment in Peoria on Friday. Cam Janssen has been in the press box a lot. How the hell is Davis Payne going to balance the playing time between Kinger and Cam Smash? That could get a little ugly.
The Blues didn't play their best game possible, but didn't need to for the win. In past games we've accused the team of playing down to the competition. I don't think that's what we saw tonight. I think that was an overly safe game plan and the realization that if you don't beat yourself, the Oilers won't either.The Blues will have to play better to beat Columbus on Saturday.
Come back later today for a debate topic. Should be interesting, we hope.