For the city of St. Louis, there is nothing better than beating a Chicago team. And with the Cardinals missing the playoffs for the second straight season (I don’t want to talk about it, I’m still grieving for the lack of October baseball in my life), the Blues having a good start to their season is just what the city wants to see.
Last night the Blues faced off against longtime division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks. And while they came out on top, especially in the first two periods, stifling a usually very productive and physical Chicago team, there are some areas of concern, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The pros of what we saw last night? Mega goal production from Jaden Schwartz. The man is finally healthy and it showed. A hat trick, physical play, and he had a goal in each period. Schwartz has 5 goals already and if he continues to stay healthy… we could be looking at a great season from him.
Here’s the other thing that’s promising about the Blues so far this season: Jake Allen. The Blackhawks are the Blackhawks for a reason. They find a way to score goals and create opportunities (see the 10 goals they scored against Pittsburgh earlier this season). Allen not only stopped 22 out of 24 shots on goal, those two goals he gave up were on the power play. It’s still early in the season but Jake the Snake is looking very stellar this early on. We’ll see how he holds up as the season goes along.
Now for the cons. Power play. Y’all. You cannot go 0 for 5 on power play. It’s just not going to get you very far in the season if you can’t take advantage of being a man up. This inefficiency with the power play is what cost the Blues the series against Nashville in the playoffs last year. It’s early, but there has to be something done about that. Or this is a big glaring problem that is going to bite St. Louis in the ass come later in the season.
Blues face the Avalanche tonight. Alexander Steen returned against the Blackhawks yesterday and while the Blues are still without Jay Bouwmeester, the lineup is handling the holes left by injuries.
But if there’s an open net situation with the Blues on attack? Expect them to go 0-for-52. The Blues couldn’t hit the open net last night except when they were 90 feet away. Might need to work on that, boys.