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Predators at Blues preview: Honor Pronger and play some defense

On #44’s jersey retirement night, the best thing that the Blues can do is sit Scandella.

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Nashville Predators v St Louis Blues Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images

The less said about Saturday night’s loss to the Maple Leafs the better.

Ok, no, talk up the offense and the tenacity in fighting back - even with Tarasenkp, Perron, and Schenn out, the Blues’ offense is firing on all cylinders and it’s a blast to watch. What is decidedly not a blast to watch is the team’s defense making terrible decisions. Jeremy Rutherford from The Athletic (subscription required) has a fantastic breakdown of the goal that lost the Blues’ the game this weekend, and to call it a comedy of errors is selling it short.

There were multiple breakdowns along the way, but the most egregious - and the one that directly resulted in a goal - was Marco Scandella’s mysterious decision to not clear the puck from the zone when he had the opportunity. Instead he dumped it back and headed for a line change, leaving the Blues exposed and miscalculating the play entirely. Why would he do that? It will remain a mystery, because as Rutherford pointed out, Scandella wasn’t available for comment after the game.

Also unavailable for comment was Jordan Binnington, who allowed an atrocious goal to cap off the entire sequence.

When players are shirking responsibility by avoiding taking questions, it sends the wrong message. Tonight is a jersey retirement night of a player who never shirked anything: Chris Pronger.

The best things that the Blues can do tonight are own it (whatever it may wind up being) and sitting Scandella if possible. With Parayko’s return, at the very least, keep him on the third pairing where he can do the least damage.

The Nashville Predators have roared back from last year’s poor showing to be one of the top contenders in the Central, and they will absolutely pounce on errors of any kind. The last time thesse two teams met, the Preds took the win 4-3 in overtime. They have absolutely owned St. Louis over at least the last three seasons. It would be nice if, on a jersey retirement night that has been entirely too long in coming, the Blues could honor their former captain and one of the greatest defensemen to ever play the game by emulating him a little bit.