First period shots for the Blues: 16. Second period shots for the Blues: 3. Third period shots for the Blues: 12.
And the Blues actually played better in the second period than they did in the third, which was sloppy, slow-footed and off-target. If the homestand told us anything about this team it's that they are an incredibly inconsistent bunch. No idea what makes them think that 20 minutes of effort is enough for this team, but it isn't the attitude they had at the end of last year. Plenty to pick on tonight:
- The Bruins did a great job of clogging the middle of the ice in their own zone. This allowed the Blues to do a good job of firing shots right into them which were quickly turned into a breakout.
- That shorthanded goal was a back-breaker. Fans started pouring out of their seats with over 8 minutes to play and for once I didn't blame them. Mistakes happen, but that was a catastrophic breakdown.
- T.J. Oshie was great last year because he was in constant motion. He was barreling up and down the ice and showing little hestiation at any point. He has lost that running motor. He had some moments, but he also had plenty of moments tonight where he was flat-footed or not moving towards the puck-carrier who was his responsibility. He's not a premier offensive talent at this level; his heart is what makes him different. He's not showing enough heart lately.
- Patrik Berglund is invisible out there. His ice time slipped to less than nine minutes tonight and it looked like he played even less than that. Let's hope this is a sophomore slump and not the norm for what we should expect from him.
- David Backes was trying to use his size and physicality tonight, but he's being paid to be a scorer. In over 17 minutes of ice time, he registered one shot on net.
- Hit the net. I don't know how many shots missed the net completely tonight and then self-cleared by wrapping around the glass and going out of the zone far side, but it was a lot. Andy McDonald, Brad Boyes, Erik Johnson and others all did it. I understand that at the NHL level you have to make perfect shots to beat good goalies, but sometimes just making the goalie make a save turns into a rebound. Sometimes there's no rebound, but at least the face-off is in the offensive zone. Sometimes those shots even go in. I swear. Try it sometime.
- One positive: The trend started with Erik Johnson, but a bunch of the defensemen are jumping up into the play more now. I like it. As long as they're getting back or getting covered by a forward, I think it adds an element of danger and makes the team harder to defend. Worked pretty well for Carlo Colaiacovo tonight.
Games in Dallas Wednesday and against the Predators Friday. Guarantee they'll need to play hard for more than one period if they want to win either of those games.