The Blues are undefeated. Brayden Schenn looks like a legitimate option down the middle for the Blues. Petro might be a serious Norris contender this year. Now let’s come back to Earth:
Third period goals
Seriously? I thought we were done with this when the Blues shed about 250 pounds from the head coaching position. These late goals are going to catch up to the team eventually. There were two more on the Monday afternoon game which is becoming the norm. This isn’t on Jake Allen either. The team needs to keep up the possession game and start generating offensive zone time. The best late game defense is a good offense.
I’m loving this Saskatoon connection between Schenn and Schwartz. Could this be the second line punch the team needs in order to take pressure off Vladdy? Jayden looks night and day different from the beginning of last season to now. He showed this level of confidence with the puck in the playoffs and I’m glad it carried over to this season. Interesting fact – Schwartz was actually the Blues leading scorer in the playoffs last year, not Vladdy.
The Blues right now are basically a two-line team though. Very little going on from the third line which had Barbashev replace Sundqvist at center for the Monday game. Jaskin swapped with Thompson at one point in the game but I didn’t see much pressure being put on by that line. It will be interesting to see where Steen is slotted in when he gets back. I think they put him in at second line RW to solidify the Schenn line and hope the trickledown effects the scoring (but we all know how well trickledown economics goes). This problem might not get fixed until December when Berglund is back. Need to get this fixed soon though because the Blackhawks look to have three legit scoring lines again after they brought the boy band back together.
Goaltending and Defense
Outside of these third period goals, I think the goal prevention has looked pretty solid. In my opinion, Jake hasn’t given up a bad goal yet and he’s certainly been making some incredible saves. Blues could really use a blowout win though to give him a break. Don’t need another Fuhr-Keenan situation where we have to play our starter every night.
The top two pairings look consistent but that third pairing with Dunn and Bortuzzo has looked rough at times. If Dunn doesn’t tighten up or start getting on the scoresheet, he’s off to Chicago/San Antonio (or wherever the hell else these guys go these days) when Bouwmeester gets back. Also, let’s give Prosser a look at Bortuzzo’s spot for a game.
John Tavares would look really good in a Blues jersey. He’s the type of player you unload the farm for. Just so happens the Blues will have about $7 million and a center position opening up next year.
What’s on Tap
Allagash White from Portland, Maine has been my go-to game time brew.
Rangers on Tuesday – Prediction is Shattenkirk goes -3 against the Notes.
Panthers on Thursday – Barkov is the next big thing in the NHL. That guy embarrasses people.
Lightning on Saturday – Best arena I’ve been to outside of Canada (very underrated city and hockey town). Outdoor beer garden on the top section and the organist sits up on a giant stage like a Mad Max movie. If Stamkos can stay healthy, they are my Finals pick out of the East.
Blues go 2-1 the rest of the week.