You could be forgiven for being shocked at Monday evening’s win over the San Jose Sharks. Not because the Blues couldn’t beat them, or weren’t expected to, but because of how they beat them. The team’s 5-4 victory was the very definition of see-saw, Falling behind 2-0, they clawed back to tie it, fell behind 3-2, tied it again, went ahead, allowed the Sharks to tie it, and then finally won on Jordan Kyrou’s game winner in the third.
The Blues falling behind 2-0 to start, after losing 8-0 to the Colorado Avalanche last week, was not a good omen. Thankfully, no one told the Blues that, and they showed the intestinal fortitude that was needed to win a game that the Sharks clearly wanted just as much.
There were, and are, kinks to be worked out. The power play, which fans have been looking forward to since camp, is 0-10. The penalty kill allowed two goals on Monday and is now chugging along at 42.9% effectiveness, better than only the Winnipeg Jets’ 40% and the Dallas Stars’ stat of N/A since they haven’t played a game yet. It’s only been three games so far, and with the number of new personnel on the team coupled with the abbreviated camp and no pre-season games, it’s expected that special teams could need some time to work through rough patches. Until they do, the Blues absolutely need to stay out of the penalty box. It wasn’t their only downfall on Friday night, but it was nearly their downfall on Monday.
The only expected change tonight, if it’s made at all, is re-inserting Sammy Blais back into the line-up. Blais’ suspension for his hit on Devon Toews is up. Considering that there is no way that one could justify sitting Jordan Kyrou after the start to the season that he’s had so far, Blais may be slotting in on the fourth line instead of Kyle Clifford.
The Sharks will, more than likely, come back strong tonight and the Blues should be prepared for it. You can’t spot a team four road goals and not expect them to try to add a few more.