Tuesday night’s game was... less than ideal. The fact that it ended 3-2 in overtime masks that the Avalanche put on an absolute clinic through most of the game, peppering Jordan Binnington for 54 shots. The Blues were outmatched, but should they have been?
Probably a bit, but not THAT outmatched.
Head coach Craig Berube says that it’s an issue with the compete level, which in round two of the postseason shouldn’t even be a problem.
“I’m big about competing for sure,” Berube said Wednesday. “Because if you don’t compete, you’re not going to give yourself a chance. I don’t care who you are. And we weren’t competitive enough.”
Most hockey pundits have determined that the Avalanche are the team to beat in the Western Conference, but that’s no reason for the Blues to take their foot off of the gas. With an offense that should be generating much more than 25 shots on net, the Blues’ forwards can hang with the Avalanche’s. The line of Pavel Buchnevich, Robert Thomas, and Vladimir Tarasenko need to pick it up to supply the same punch that they did during the regular season. If that was the line that Berube was referencing with his non-competition comments, then hopefully they heard him loud and clear.
Berube was also more than likely referencing the team’s face off percentage, which absolutely needs to be better - especially in the offensive zone. Generating chances comes from puck possession, and puck possession comes from actually winning on the faceoff.
Tonight’s game is winnable if the Blues learned from their mistakes and listened to Berube. They’re pretty sharp about listening to their coach, especially after a disappointing loss. Tonight absolutely has to be a rebound game for them to bring the series back to St. Louis 1-1. The Avalanche are not a team that they want to be in a 2-0 hole against.