Blues Get Hammered and Lose Oshie; Should Put This One Behind Them
The pre-game soccer game, which reportedly led to a skirmish of words between the two teams, was more exciting than the first period for the St. Louis Blues or the entire game for that matter. If they had a choice, the Blues probably would have elected to go home after the first and the rest of their play would have supported that decision. The league’s stingiest defense, who had previously given up a total of 18 goals over the course of 12 games, was pierced for eight goals on the night. The Blues' league best seven game winning streak was halted, as the Blue Jackets' fans were treated to a firing of the cannon eight times. Time to focus on tomorrow night's game. Every team is allowed a stinker once in a while, and hopefully for the Blues, this will be the only one. Below is a recap of this blowout.
Not even a few outstanding saves by netminder Jaroslav Halak could help the St. Louis Blues shake off the rust from their few days’ rest. The first period witnessed the Blue Jackets jumping to a 3-0 lead as they out-worked, out-muscled, out-chanced, and most importantly, outscored the first place Blues. Dressing eleven forwards and one D-man, the Blues simply couldn’t get anything going in the first frame and they weren’t helped by their struggling power-play, which went O for 1. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, made their own luck as the second goal was of the variety rarely seen against Halak. After hustling his way through two obstructing Blues defenseman, Jared Boll gained possession and fired a pass/shot along the ice from the left corner. The puck hit the inside of Halak’s left skate and quickly found the back of the net. Of note, the Blues’ one glorious chance, a bang-bang play on a 2 on 1 between T.J. Oshie and Backes, was professionally dealt with by Steve Mason, keeping the score one nothing at the time. The save very well could have been the key play of the night.
The Blue Jackets did not let off the gas in the second period, scoring another three goals. Columbus goaltender Steve Mason made a handful of key saves. Jakub Voracek showed his great hands on his second breakaway goal of the night, going top-shelf on Halak with a backhand deke. That was the end of Halak’s night. B.J. Crombeen managed to get one back for the Blues after a horrible Columbus turnover, but Chris Clark and R.J. Umberger scored in rapid succession to make it 6-1 Blue Jackets with over five minutes left in the second.
The third period saw the Blue Jackets score two quick goals and then a scrap-fest, typical of games with out of hand scores. Not much to see here.
Looking Forward To: Who gets the start in net tomorrow against a Predators’ team that has lost five games in a row.
Player of the Game: Has to be Voracek and his two goals, but I’m not a big fan of guys continuously leaving the zone early. Worked out for him tonight. Runner up was Steve Mason, who looked, at least for tonight, to have regained his form.
Edit: Just found out the Blues lost Oshie to a broken ankle that will keep him out of the lineup for a while. Makes the loss even tougher.