The Blues have lost five games in a row, but honestly, only one of those five matter. Right?
Maybe we need to be worried. Maybe we don’t! Maybe we just all need to forget the mess that Wednesday night’s game was and move on to the next one.
Wednesday’s game started off innocently enough with traded goals between the Canucks and Blues in the first period, and traded goals again in the second. Both of Vancouver’s goals came on the power play, establishing that taking penalties would be less than advantageous to the Blues’ chances in this game, and probably in the series. Unfortunately, they would take one more, but the final PPG of the game by J.T. Miller wasn’t the backbreaker. The goal by Troy Stetcher and Bo Horvat’s second of the night were. A failed clear from Vladimir Tarasenko and a poor attempt by Jordan Binnington let Stetcher’s goal snap through.
Horvat’s goal, well... as Justin put it in the recap, “traffic cone” is a great term to call Vince Dunn on that one.
The Blues’ defense has taken nights on and nights off, but the team’s results have been the same - when the defense has clicked, the goal scoring hasn’t come through. When the defense faltered, like it did against Vegas and Chicago, the Blues either haven’t scored or the defense was so poor that no amount of scoring would help. Wednesday was a good example of the former. Jaden Schwartz got on the scoresheet and David Perron added another to his tally, but more firepower from the top six is needed.
Hopefully the fourth line will look more like a fourth line and less like a beer league team tonight, as having Sammy Blais and Ivan Barbashev out necessitated some tweaking that had Jacob de la Rose and Troy Brouwer in the lineup. You can’t ice slow against Vancouver and, unfortunately, the fourth line was the Molasses Line in game one.
Overall, at least for the first two periods, the Blues looked like the Blues again and not like the team that sleepwalked through the round-robin. But, as coach Craig Berube told the Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas, it all went away after the Canucks’ eventual game winner:
“I felt like we just lost our life after that a little bit, and our energy,” Berube said. “We gotta make sure that doesn’t happen. I mean, things happen in the playoffs. ... And you gotta make sure your energy stays up and your spirit stays up.”
The Blues energy and spirit weren’t their for their first four games in Edmonton, but it was on the verge of improvement - and then stopped. But that does give some hope for tonight’s game - if the Blues can focus on playing like the did for the first two periods - with some improvement on the back end - this series could easily be tied at one before the night is through.