Saturday’s 5-4 regulation loss to the San Jose Sharks was a stinger for a few reasons. The Blues fought to come back from a four goal deficit only to lose on Logan Couture’s second goal of the night with less than nine minutes left. The Blues’ defense, especially Vince Dunn, looked caught unawares at times during the first period. The Blues garnered some major momentum through the second period, though, making a game of it despite being the walking wounded and missing a sizable chunk of their regular game day roster.
The big names who needed to step up - Ryan O’Reilly, Torey Krug, Brayden Schenn, and David Perron - contributed as they should have. The star contributor, who is becoming a tour de force and should stay that way on the top line while Ivan Barbashev is out, was Jordan Kyrou. Kyrou had a goal and an assist on the night, and his game tying goal at the end of the second was a thing of beauty and patience:
The issue is that the Blues, regardless of who they’re playing and how many regulars are out, still have to keep their foot on the gas for the entire game. The Sharks are a beatable team, but the Blues still cannot get over that hump in the second game of two game series, and it’s becoming a problem.
Thankfully, tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Kings is a game one, so everything should be fine, right?
In a good sign, Sammy Blais is back in the lineup tonight after a false positive test result kept him out on Saturday night. His return means Jake Walman sits, but the rest of the lineup should remain unchanged from Saturday.
In a not good sign, tonight is a Reverse Retro night, and the Kings are on a four game winning streak. The Blues handled the Kings very well back on January 23rd, winning 4-2, but the following game was the beginning of a disappointing trend of play during game twos. The Kings roughed the Blues up, 6-3, despite a strong showing from Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn.