Last night’s 5-4 loss probably wasn’t the game that Jordan Binnington envisioned, and not the best way to herald his new six year, $6 million AAV contract. The Vegas Golden Knights had 40 shots on goal to the Blues’ 23, and the defense, well, it has looked better.
Something that you can’t complain about regarding the Blues these last several weeks is their offense. Since February 27th, they’ve scored fewer than two goals in just one game. Their power play seems to have finally found their stride. The Blues scored two goals with the extra man last night, one from Zach Sanford and one from David Perron, both in the third period. Perron’s goal put the Blues on top 4-3 for about a minute and a half until Alec Martinez’s goal forced overtime. The team’s power play, once near the bottom of the league, now ranks 16th at a 20.7% effectiveness.
The penalty kill, at 73.7% effectiveness, still sits at 26th in the league, so there’s work to be done.
Four overtime games and eight one-goal games in a row is exhausting, but a win is a win. Blowout wins are more fun, but points are points. Craig Berube knows that defense, both on the PK and even strength, is a liability right now. It’s not something the Blues nor their fans are used to:
“We gotta do a better job defending their rush,” Berube said. “We gave ‘em some opportunities in all three periods off the rush that there’s no need for. We can defend those a lot better than we did. And we took too many penalties tonight, too.
“It’s awareness,” Berube said. “Those are individual mistakes. They’re awareness. And we gotta figure it out. Those plays, they shouldn’t happen. We gave ‘em three goals in my opinion where we have guys that should be on guys and they’re not. Or they are right there, but they’re not tight enough.
“And so to me, those goals, they shouldn’t happen.”
Tonight, the defense needs to be tighter, or else Ville Husso could be hung out to dry in the same way the new Six Million Dollar Man was last night.