Well, they made it close with a goofy scramble at the very end, but the Blues lost a game they didn't deserve to win tonight. They looked strong in the first, but not great in either the second or third and it wasn't until the end when they seemed to realize that the Jackets weren't going to realize that they are terrible and should just quit.
On to the bullets!
- I thought the best line tonight was Vladimir Sobotka. The pesky little Russian Czech was his usual hard-nosed self and did a great job again of possessing the puck and doing his best to create chances offensively. It didn't matter who else was playing with him, they were by default the best line. Which, of course, is a big part of the reason the Blues lost. When your third line is your most dominant, you got troubles.
- The Blue Jackets clearly hate the Blues. I won't claim to watch a lot of Jackets hockey, but if they played that hard every night their record would have to be better than it is. R.J. Umberger tried to start a fight with Blues last year over soccer, Derek Dorsett reacted like he'd scored a Cup-winner with a one-foot poke-in and Rick Nash spent half of his ice time trying to hit T.J. Oshie and David Perron. I have no idea what their fans think of the Blues, but the players definitely consider this a rivalry.
- Speaking of the Blue Jackets, their continual attempts to hit Andy McDonald high were bush league at best, but McDonald responded to it well. He's going to have to deal with that and rebound and have a good game anyway for the forseeable future. Until teams decide that it doesn't take him out of the game, they're going to keep doing it.
- Perron and David Backes combined for a pretty shorthanded goal, but beyond that, the Blues didn't have many great chances. Lots of crest-killing shots and missed nets made for Steve Mason looking like he is a viable starting goaltender. He is not.
- Jaroslav Halak looked great, but different from normal. By that, I mean he played a very Brian Elliott kind of game, letting pucks hit him and absorbing them. Halak has a tendency, I think, to count on reflexes and a more athletic game. That makes for more spectacular-looking saves, but is more of a risky style to live and die by. Except for the loose puck poked in by troll doll Dorsett, I liked Halak's game.
- Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund continue to frustrate. They'll have a good, strong game one night and then a gliding, submissive game like they did tonight. Now the word is that Kevin Shattenkirk is having confidence issues because of his offensive drought. Wake the fuck up, boys. It's not the flu, you can't catch confidence issues from one another. If you haven't noticed, a big trade deadline rescue player isn't about to materialize in your locker room and make it all better. Confidence, hard work and instinct is how you got to the NHL. Time to remember that.
- As for Rick Nash and Jeff Carter,the two Blue Jackets getting the most buzz around the league as trade deadline availables, either they didn't want to get hurt and ruin any chance of getting traded out of there or the reason the Jackets aren't very good is because those two don't do much. If anyone out there in the world of Blues fans think either one of those guys would be a good acquisition, then you are nuts. They do too little, make too much and their contracts are too long. Let them go screw up some other team's chemistry, ours is just fine.
- That last non-goal was unfortunate. Perron probably would have been better of to push the puck back out of the crease as there were more available players out there, but as @doubleohduke said on Twitter, "Anyone who thinks
@DP_57 was cheating there has never been at the bottom of a crease battle. I liked the effort. #WelcomeToOz" In a scrum in the crease, you do what you do and hope it works out. This time, it did not.
The Islanders visit on Thursday, so no too long of a wait for the Blues to redeem themselves. I'm betting practice tomorrow will be a fun one....