To put it bluntly, it seemed the St. Louis Blues decided that they wanted to be torn apart with a fire sale of the entire organization in the First Period of today's game. For Christ sake they were playing the New York Islanders?! This was the first time Jaroslav Halak faced his former team, choosing to opt out of last years game with Buffalo. It was an interesting start for him and his team. But more importantly The Blues.
The Blues problems this season have highlighted long standing issues that have lasted for years with this team, and have failed to be addressed by management. Hildy’s article about what ails the team earlier this week pointed out issues of the Defense trying to do to much. This mentality of the defense putting offense first has caused several turnovers followed by awkward odd man rushes in the Blues defensive end.
These last two games, and the first period of this game were no exemption. The Blues defense, and the coaches that take care of them, need to remember they play defense. Sure they can help out here or there but let the offense figure out its own bull shit instead of trying to run a line with a center and 3-4 wings. Alexander Pietrangelo is a prime example of this. The man is a great shut down defenseman. He is a potential Norris trophy winner, but this year?
Sorry Petro, but you have not had the best of times out there. Petro should be out there not only to assist the offense when he is called to do so, but to shut down the other guys top line and make sure our goalie isn’t left high and dry. To many times I have seen him deep in the offensive zone, the puck gets coughed up and TJ Oshie or Alexander Steen have to race back to try and shut down the odd man rush. Where is Petro? Back behind the rush trying to catch up. Not helping bro.
Clearly, what they are doing now is not helpful when you have your main goaltender out, a guy who’s fresh into his first full NHL season, and an old and slightly rusty hall of famer behind you. Its not a great recipe for success. It clearly did them no favors today as they ended the first period down three goals to nil.
But I digress. At the start of the second Jake Allen was replaced by Martin Brodeur. Since you know, a defensive breakdown problem is clearly solved by blaming the goalie and pulling him. However, the Second and Third Periods were much better for our boys in Blue. Paul Stastny was playing like a man possessed. He totaled two goals for the game but no assists. His first came in the second period at 2:36. The goal ultimately broke the Blues ice of their non-existent power play, finally!
If Hitch doesn’t call that "more from him" his hat is on too tight. The goal breathed life into the skates of the Blues. Still down 3-1, the team seemed to find their footing and pull it together. Patrik Berglund would follow suit with a nice even strength tip in goal at 4:28. Keep doing this Bergie, please.
Kevin Shattenkirk would follow up Berglund with another power play goal at 12:34. Blasting the bejesus out of the puck from the blue line after a lovely pass from Lindstrom to tie the game 3-3.
Unfortunately the Blues would still go to the locker room down 4-3 after a horrific bull shit phantom tripping call on Pauly Walnuts, by none other than Tim Peel. Jerkface.
Even though he let in one goal in the second, Brodeur was great in net. To me he seemed like he was still a bit slow at times but damn does he command respect, even from the officials:
Sounded like the referee just said: "a;If you are going to jam away at Marty, you are going to pay taxes." #StlBlues— Andrew Allsman (@allsmandrew) December 6, 2014
And thus the Marty Tax Hashtag was born. #MartyTax
The Third period was all Blue and Yellow, and no orange. The Blues would get 3 unanswered goals from T.J. Oshie, Stastny’s second of the night and yet another give and go tandem goal from Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera. In short, Let's Call this the comeback.
Important things to Note:
The unsung heroes of the game were David Backes and Joakim Lindstrom. Lindstrom found his way onto the assist column of 3 of the Blues goals and 2 takeaway for the good guys. He totaled 12:25 of Ice time, with 5 minutes of that on the power play.
Vladimir Tarasenko now in sole possession of second place in NHL goal scoring. His 17 goals trail only Dallas' Tyler Seguin (19). #StlBlues— Andrew Allsman (@allsmandrew) December 6, 2014
Fun fact: pic.twitter.com/nUjb84sO2s— Everyday Hockey (@EvrydayHockey) December 6, 2014