Yesterday’s 1-0 shutout against the Arizona Coyotes counts firmly in the W column and I’m not going to complain about it, but that was one of the hardest fought wins that the Blues have suffered through in ages. All of the action was in front of Antti Raanta - Jordan Binnington only had to make 14 saves for his second shut-out in a row.
The Blues, who had 46 shots on goal, didn’t score until 12:00 of the third period. Making Raanta’s night even more impressive is the fact that these were nearly all high quality SOG:
You love to see it pic.twitter.com/rBHvJYvhH9— St. Louis Blues Analytics (@BluesAnalytics) February 21, 2020
This is good for a couple of reasons. One: the Blues are playing with pressure again and two: they’re going to have to be able to do this against Ben Bishop tonight.
The Blues are only two points ahead of the Stars for the top spot in the division after a monthlong stretch of less than ideal outcomes whittled away their 10 point division lead. Two back-to-back shutouts against teams who are average at best is nice, but a win against the team nipping at your heels has a bit more weight to it.
Dallas will, surprisingly, be with the services of Jamie Benn tonight. Benn did not get suspended for this hit on Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and the DoPS didn’t do anything to quell recent displeasure with their justification:
Source: There will be no supplemental discipline (no fine or suspension) for Jamie Benn after his hit on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Ekman-Larsson put himself off balance to play the puck and lost a physical battle with Benn.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 20, 2020
So, basically, it’s ok to nail a guy in the numbers like that according to Player Safety. Good to know. Still don’t want to see it happen.
Tonight is Jamie Benn bobblehead night. It’d be great if the Blues could keep him off of the scoresheet and off of their players’ backs.