Games 8, 9 and 10 End the Slow Month of October for the St. Louis Blues
To end the month of October the St. Louis Blues had three games in the final full week of the month. On Monday, the Blues played the Winnipeg Jets followed by a Thursday night showdown at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The third period was the soft spot of the team in each of those two games. After a bad two games, the Chicago Blackhawks were in St. Louis to play the Blues for the third time this season.
Game 8: Winnipeg Jets vs. St. Louis Blues
After the first period, the score was 2-1 in favor of St. Louis. Ryan O’Reilly scored his first as a Blue 47 seconds into the game, followed by a turnover by the Jets leading to a Colton Parayko slap shot to the back of the net. 2-0. At the time of the second Blues go, the shots were in favor of St. Louis 11-2. Mark Scheifele closes the scoring in the first with a shot from behind the net bouncing off of Jay Bouwmeester.
In the second period, the Jets were fighting back and outshot St. Louis 10-7. Jake Allen was standing on his head and with his team playing shut down defense in front, the Blues were in a good place. Vince Dunn had the only goal of the period coming on the power-play. 3-1 Blues after two.
Three periods in and the Blues look to come out and shutdown the Winnipeg Jets, however, the Jets had other ideas. St. Louis came out to protect the lead instead of add to it, and it cost them big. The Jets scored four goals this period and out shot the Blues 17-5.
Ben Chiarot and Mark Scheifele scored to tie the game followed by a goal by David Perron, giving St. Louis the lead again. The lead would not hold as Bryan Little scores late and the game goes to overtime.
In overtime, The game looked to be going to a shootout but the Blues made a defensive mistake. St. Louis had all three skaters on the far side when a shot came from a Jet. Jake Allen made the save but the rebound was right to Jacob Trouba to the left of Allen. Trouba snapped a shot to the wide open net and the game was over, 5-4.
Game 9: St. Louis Blues vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Once again, the St. Louis Blues came out flying, scoring two-goals in the first. Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring with a power-play goal four and a half minutes into the game. This goal is just Tarasenko’s third in nine games. Jaden Schwartz extended the lead with his first of the season and it is 2-0 Blues. Before the period ended, Boone Jenner scored on Columbus’ power-play to cut the lead in half. After one period of play, the shots are 14-10 in favor of the Blue jackets.
Coming into the second period the Blues have a one-goal lead. Anthony Duclair scores a quick goal to tie the game and takes the wind out of St. Louis’ sails for the rest of the game. Following Duclair’s goal, Boone Jenner gets his second of the game and gives Columbus the lead just over a minute later. David Savard adds on to make the lead 4-2, nine minutes into the period. Alexander Steen added one to close out the scoring this period but the damage was done and the Jackets had a one-goal lead as the two teams head to the lower room.
To start the third period, the Blues know they need to step up their play, what do they do? Colton Parayko tries a stretch pass that is picked off and the play goes the other way. Patrick Maroon and Alex Pietrangelo get caught heading up the ice leaving Josh Anderson wide open for a cross ice pass. He receives the pass and dances around Chad Johnson for a goal 38 seconds into the period. Duclair gets himself another goal two minutes later followed by Seth Jones’s first of the year to give the Blue Jackets a 7-3 lead. Zach Sanford adds on to the Blues’ total, 7-4.
Many fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure, saying the team should fire Head Coach Mike Yeo. After the game, Mike Yeo met with the media saying that his job should be in question.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) October 26, 2018
Game 10: St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Just like in Winnipeg, the St. Louis Blues came out flying for this one. Colton Parayko pushed his way through center ice and into the zone. Ryan O’Reilly is on the doorstep for a goal on the first shot of the game just 18 seconds in. But Patrick Kane had the answer and he gets Chicago on the board three minutes later. Zach Sanford has been on fire since returning to the lineup and scored his third of the year giving the Blues their second lead. However, the Blackhawks would tie it again, this time it was Artem Anisimov scoring with a little over a minute left in the period. After one, the score is 2-2. The Blues out shot Chicago 17-10.
To start the second, the Blues had the power-play. Vince Dunn has the puck and throws it across the ice to Vladimir Tarasenko. Patrick Maroon slides over and screens Corey Crawford while Tarasenko rifles the puck off the far post and into the net to give St. Louis the lead 3-2. Tyler Bozak scored four minutes later and the Blues now have a two-goal lead. With the two-goal lead, you can see that the Blues are starting to fall into “protect the lead” mode which costs the team when Patrick Kane gets his second of the game to put the Blackhawks within one goal of the lead. 4-3 after two periods of play.
In the third, the Blues blow the game wide open. Tarasenko scores his second of the game, 5-3. With two minutes left, Chicago pulled the goalie. Alex Pietrangelo gets the puck behind his net and throws it 200 feet down the ice and in for his first. Alexander Steen added on late on the power-play, 7-3.
- The first two games were terrible and the third period collapse shows that things need to be updated whether it’s how the defense is being played, or how the defense or special teams are being coached and set up. St. Louis needs to stop falling into “protect the lead” mode. It is costing the team precious points early in the season.
- The third game was a great game, but there were still points in the game where it looked like the Blues were starting to protect the lead instead of add on to the lead.
- Mike Yeo’s job may have been saved but if the Blues continue to struggle, how long does he have?
The St. Louis Blues (3-4-3) are at home on Thursday (11/1) to play the Vegas Golden Knights (5-5-1) at Enterprise Center. It looks like the starter for St. Louis is going to be Chad Johnson, or possibly Ville Husso.
Other Blues News
- Jake Allen left the game in the second period after a collision with Zach Sanford. An evaluation has not taken place yet.
- Ville Husso was recalled from San Antonio on Monday. Allen’s injury may keep him out a week or more.
- Robby Fabbri, Carl Gunnarsson and Nikita Soshnikov were recalled from San Antonio on Monday. This will Fabbri’s first time on the Blues roster since sustaining his first of two ACL tears in February 2017.
- Jordan Kyrou was sent down to the San Antonio Rampage to make room for the healthy player. In nine games with the Blues this year, Kyrou has one assist.
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Photo Courtesy of Jared Pettus