I used to be a big deal around here, ran this joint. Then I got the keys to the copier and started publishing the paper and doing both is damn crazy. But that Justin guy had to work and I’m unemployed and here I am.
The game tonight in Nashville started out just right. Jaden Schwartz scored. At first I thought it might be his first of the season, but then I saw it was his third. So either those other goals didn’t feel important at the time, or I’m just assuming most Blues players aren’t scoring. Because most Blues players arent’ scoring.
Anyway, Schwartz scored. It was a nice play where Pekka Rinne was caught a little out of position as Vladimir Tarasenko passed to Schwartz instead of shooting.
Pekka, most goalies would believe Tarasenko would be the one shooting the puck. Stuff like that has been happening a lot to Rinne because he hasn’t played nearly as well as he did a few years ago. Go to Google and admire his barely above average statistics. But Rinne played well enough tonight. I’ll get to that.
Carter Hutton, Rinne’s backup on the Predators the last three seasons, was pitching a shutout for a majority of the game. But just like his tribute video returning to Nashville, it didn’t happen. Steve Ott got one. It featured three goals. Because that’s all he scored for St. Louis, three goals. But he got a tribute video and Hutton didn’t. Sees like a dick move. Anyway, Hutton was playing pretty well until the third period.
The Blues allowed too many good scoring chances in the slot and alone in front of the net. Calle Jarnkrok scored with less than two minutes left in the second period from right in front of the net. Dimitrij Jaskin lost the puck along the boards, it went in the corner and then Alex Pietrangelo didn’t come out high enough as Patrik Berglund was helping Jay Bouwmeester in the corner and an undefended Jarnkrok scored. Lots of stuff broke down on that play.
What didn’t break down for the Predators was a sweet pass from the aged Mike Ribeiro. He sent it from the left boards across the front of the crease, through a crouched and blocking Bouwmeester. The puck found James Neal’s stick. He was in close and had to bend down for the puck and then put it high over Hutton’s glove. Probably nine times out of 10 that play doesn’t work. It did this time. That put it 2-1 Predators with more than 16 minutes to play.
Most Blues fans quickly started doing the math of the probability of the Blues scoring more than one goal. And then the math changed when the Predators scored again 1 minute, 16 seconds later when Jarnkrok scored his second, mainly from the mishandling of the puck by Mr. 199 Goals, Alexander Steen.
And then Jarnkrok almost got the hat trick shorthanded with an empty netter. He barely missed. And then Rinne tried to score on the empty net, but Colton Parayko stopped the puck at center ice. Heavens to Betsy.
I was really hoping for a Hutton shutout in Nashville so he could shove the nonexistent tribute video up the Predators organization’s ass. And then was hoping for a win. And then it was all about minimizing the margin of defeat.
These Blues, Our Blues, Everyone’s Blues, they need help scoring. Putting Robby Fabbri in the press box for a game, Nail Yakupov for three, maybe that gives the forwards motivation not to suck enough to watch a game in street clothes. Maybe it just keeps a talented guy off the ice for a night. What I do know is there are too many shifts without putting any offensive pressure on the other team. Too many periods where the most pressure has been by the unfinishing fourth line. They try some really creative and daring plays, and they just barely misfire. They don’t have enough basic plays where a guy screens the goalie, there’s a big shot and you hope for a deflection or screen or rebound or whatever. There is nothing simple about this team’s offense. They make every play look difficult.
Was hoping a pretty hard effort last night against Chicago might carry over. It didn’t feel like that happened.
One more note about the Note, the Blues spent too much time in the box. They had two too many men penalties in two nights. That’s two too many. They gave the Preds five power plays, but killed all five. But that’s 10 minutes of not having a realistic chance of scoring. The Blues went 0-2 on the PP, in case you were wondering.
It felt like the Blues were going to win this thing after 37 minutes. And then the rest of the game it didn’t feel that way at all. It happens.
Thanks for reading, friends.