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Game #1 Recap - Vladi Strikes Twice

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Power play goals errywhere as Blues cruise to 5-2 victory over Hawks

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought spoiling Chicago’s home opener couldn’t get any sweeter, Seabrook puts the puck into his own net and suddenly I’m reminded of how bad the Blackhawks used to be so many years ago. Refreshing change of pace!

The special teams are still looking good, which is a good sign this early in the season. Three power play goals, one of which came on a crucial five-on-three opportunity, and they killed three out of their four penalties. Could have done a lot worse, and three power play points in the first regular season game is a good omen - Mike Yeo is running the power play behind the bench.

It was a little odd to see Perron back out there again. I have to admit I feel pretty apprehensive about sticking him with Tarasenko’s line, but to his credit, he generated some solid chances through the first and second periods and managed to get the puck to Vlad on a pretty consistent basis. Maybe he’s the setup guy Tarasenko has needed?

We all got a decent look at Yakupov. He’s been given something of a short leash with 10:37 TOI, but he’s a unique forward. Lots of speed, some flashes of puckhandling ability, but does Yak have finishing ability? Can he work his way up the lineup? Jaskin is speedy and has great hands too, but he’s never been able to crawl out of Hitchcock’s third-line purgatory.

Not to pile on, but this hasn’t been the best outing for Bortuzzo, and surely if you’re going to sit anyone on that blueline, it should be Eddy, right? Still doesn’t seem like Gunnarsson would be the right guy to scratch against the Hawks. Would have preferred to see him out there, especially if you’re only going to give Bortuzzo 13:17 of ice time.

Jake Allen was steady, if unremarkable, going 17-19 with an .895 save percentage during his first outing of the season. He did come up with two high-danger saves late in the third on Chicago’s power play. Your guess is as good as mine as to why Chicago got the man advantage out of that forth-line scrum, but it seems greedy to complain about officiating when the Blues potted three power play goals.

Hopefully the Blues can take some of this momentum into the home opener tomorrow night against the Minnesota Wild - and make sure you pick up a copy of Game Time on your way into Scottrade.