If there is one thing that was evident after the Blues’ 2-0 loss to the Wild last night, it was that they tried.
It’s genuinely rare in the NHL to limit another team to just 11 shots on goal and still lose, but that’s what the Blues did last night. Statistically speaking, the Blues shone last night. They outshot the Wild 37-11. They won 57% of the faceoffs. The penalty kill was perfect. Brayden Schenn started the game with a fight off of the opening faceoff that was clearly intended to spark the team, and it may’ve worked through the first period.
Cam Talbot was outstanding in earning his 37 save shutout, especially playing for the second night in a row. There were a few times where it looked like the Blues - specifically David Perron, who very was clearly playing like he himself had to win for Bobby (he finished with 9 SOG and 16 attempts) - were going to break through, but no dice. Wild are riding an 11 home win hot-streak right now, and the Blues are still trying to find their identity.
It’s disrupting when a large group of key players are injured at once and a team has to search for a groove without them. It’s just as disrupting when those key players return and the team has to do the exact same thing with those players back. The Blues have been unable to find a groove all year - unless it’s been against the Ducks. The Ducks have been the Blues’ easy target this season and the wins they’ve notched against them have been practically banked points.
After tonight, though, the Blues only have two more games against the Ducks. The rest of their schedule comes against the teams above them in the standings - the teams that, it turns out, they have problems beating.
The Blues finding a groove at some point would be nice. Hopefully beating Anaheim is the starting point for some focused hockey that carries the team through the rest of the season.