Thank God for secondary scoring. Robert Bortuzzo netted the game winning goal Monday night and Oskar Sundqvist scored a beauty on an Alexander Steen pass to give the Blues some insurance space.
I say thank God for secondary scoring, because the Blues primary scoring appears to be dead if you don’t count Jaden Schwartz. The Blues not only went 0-for-5 on the power play Monday night, they allowed a short handed goal by Logan Couture and then right after the penalty expired, they gifted Couture another goal to tie the game.
The turnovers by the defense are egregious, especially those by Alex Pietrangelo. The PP doesn’t function. The Blues lost in the face off circle badly (57% to 43%). Vladimir Tarasenko, for whatever reason (I don’t know, I don’t care, and I’m not going to be all gossipy about it) is MIA.
So how did the Blues win, if they’re not firing on all cylinders?
First off, Martin Jones is not a good goalie, and I will continue to put that into the universe every chance that I can get in hopes that someone on the team remembers it at an opportune moment. Second off, they never quit. They made errors Monday but didn’t let them completely knock the team off track. Even in the third round of the playoffs, mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean that you let those mistakes define the team. If you do, you wind up in the position the Hurricanes are in.
The Blues aren’t down in the series three games to zero; they’re knotted up 1-1 and can go up 2-1 tonight if they tighten things up and work on limiting their worst tendencies. The team has been better on the road than at home, but they’ve won some pretty large contests at Enterprise Center, and this series shouldn’t be any different.
If the Blues can actually score on the power play and neutralize the Sharks’ scorers, they’ll be fine.