The Blues won and got two points in the standings. It was a win over Detroit. Paul Kariya scored not once but twice at home. Brad Boyes looked like a stud in the shootout. Yet there's still a bad taste in the mouth after St. Louis won Tuesday night at home 4-3 in the shootout.
First of all, the Blues played well enough to win in regulation. They built a 3-1 lead in the third period before two ugly goals tied it up with 2 minutes, 20 seconds to play in the third period. Chris Mason got abused first by a puck that deflected off a Detroit skate in the crease but not in a kicking motion that would have negated the goal. Then with about half the players on the ice inside the St. Louis crease, somehow the referee never lost sight of the puck and it somehow trickled in for the game-tying goal.
I said at the time and still feel like these kinds of games where the Blues are blowing third-period leads are just killing Mason's mental part of the game. As soon as something good happens for the other team late, he's got to have some negative thoughts. And those negative thoughts lead to a feeling of desperation. The end result is a goaltender who is prone to move around way too much and in the process giving up position and clear sight of the puck. Monday night there was one goal where he had turned 180 degrees and was facing the goal mouth when the puck went in the net. I will always have an affinity for the bald yet bearded goaltender, but I don't have any faith in him long term much less the rest of this season. Of course that's why the Blues were linked to the Kari Lehtonen rumors before he was traded for a highly regarded prospect in Dallas.
In the shootout Andy McDonald was stopped by Jimmy Howard, but T.J. Oshie scored five hole and Brad Boyes put on a hell of a deke scoring the shootout winner. Mason stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg but allowed a goal to Jason Williams of all people on the Red Wings.
It was nice to see Kariya score a pair at home, his first two goals in St. Louis this season. It would almost be fitting in a sadomasochistic way for Kariya to get traded right now after finally coming through for the paying fans. Hell, I'm half expecting it considering how things have gone of late. And hello ironic twist when Boyes goes 31 games with just two goals but looks unbelievable in the shootout. Maybe Boyes will show his streakiness and just start lighting it up the rest of the season. Yeah, I don't think that will happen either, but if it does, I can link that last sentence for weeks.
Sure, any win over Detroit is a good thing, but with just 22 games left on the schedule, the Blues are still in 13th place with six points separating them from the final playoff spot. It will take a comeback of last year's proportions for them to even push it to the last week of the season much less make the playoffs again.
The other aspect of this game that clouds the future of this team is the position the organization is in as the trade deadline nears. With only three games left before the deadline, they're going to have to make decision on some players awfully soon.
Any predictions for the rest of this week, the trade deadline or the rest of the year? Make them in the comments.