The Blues winning in extra time is so rare, you can be forgiven if you didn’t exactly understand what you saw last night.
Let me summarize it: Robert Thomas.
Thomas’ game winning goal was part of a bigger comeback puzzle. Instead of shutting down when they fell behind 3-1, the Blues regrouped and refocused, relying heavily on Ville Husso to keep many more of the Wild’s 38 shots on goal from going in.
This Blues team doesn’t have the stifling defense of teams past, but thank God it has an offense. Justin Faulk finished with a goal and an assist, Pavel Buchnevich had the team’s opening goal, Brayden Schenn continued his point streak with an assist from Buchnevich, and then there was Thomas’ 17th of the season. The Blues already lead the NHL in the number of 20+ goal scorers they have, but Thomas is about to add himself to that group of seven.
The Blues finished the night tied with the Wild for second in the Central; a win tonight against the Islanders would kick them into sole possession of that playoff spot for now.
The Islanders aren’t in possession of a playoff spot currently, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t still be dangerous. They fended off the high powered Carolina Hurricanes last night 2-1, and held them to only 21 shots on goal. Ilya Sorokin, much like Ville Husso, put on a clinic.
It stands to reason then that both teams, more than likely, will trot out backups (or whatever you want to call Jordan Binnington for right now) for tonight’s game against non-conference opponents. Semyon Varlamov has a 9-14-2 record on the season with a 2.74 GAA and a .918 save percentage, so it’s not like this evening will necessarily be an easy win for the Blues, but he should be a bit easier than dealing with Cam Talbot last night - and the Blues’ cracked that code.