In the interest of not angering the hockey gods who have been so good to us so far this season, I am not going to mention several items. Those items include:
- This Blues team now owns the best start in franchise history.
- This Blues team has posted four shutouts in just 12 games.
- This defense is allowing the fewest shots against in the league (26.5/game) and is also leading the league in fewest goals against per game (1.42).
- This team is playing without several of its better players and is still playing a creative, exciting game and playing confidently despite the inexperience of the team, especially on defense.
Instead I'm going to go a little negative tonight, hockey gods, just so you know that we appreciate what we have, but still see room for improvement. To wit:
- The offense has got to get on track. Sure it's great that Alexander Steen got on the board again and that he also added the empty-netter, but he and his three goals need to get going. On top of that, Andy McDonald only has two goals and several players who should be scoring only have one: T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Brad Boyes and Erik Johnson should all have more than that. I have no idea how you go about fixing this, but if it doesn't get back on track for these guys, a losing streak is definitely on the horizon.
- The power play is dreadful right now. This system of trying to set up the backside man on the half boards for a one-timer isn't working, it's definitely time to switch things up and try something else. They have seven power play goals on the season and their conversion with the man-add is a pitiful 11.9%, good for 25th in the whole league.
Other than that, great work out of Ty Conklin in his first work in a decade, and thank you refs for blowing the whistle a little early to help the Blues rather than screw them for one.
Finally, I understand why B.J. Crombeen gets five minutes for boarding, but that exact play happens several times a game. The only difference is that Stepan made a weird cut at the end that caused him to duck down, putting him in a way more vulnerable position. No way does Crombeen expect that and no way is he attempting to injure the Rangers player.
In Columbus on Wednesday followed by home against Nashville on Thursday. Oh, and we'll be here all week for you.