The St. Louis Blues battle through the game against the New York Rangers to pick up a win in Overtime.
The Blues came out on fire last night and what really kicked it all off was that Chris Thorburn dropped the mitts with Cody McLeod in the first three minutes of the game. This brought the crowd into the game. The Blues heard them and followed suit. St. Louis lead the Rangers in shots (16-2) after the first. This is something we don’t often see from the Blues on a nightly basis. Due to that many shots on net, Alex Pietrangelo was able to rifle one of the shots to the back of the twine last night. Vladimir Sobotka received a pass from Alex Pietrangelo, Sobotka put a high shot on the New York Rangers net which was knocked down by Tage Thompson. Pietrangelo skated hard towards the net and put a wicked wrister past the young goaltender, Alexandar Georgiev. The Blues would go on to take this lead into the first intermission.
One of the best starts seen from the St. Louis Blues in a While
The St. Louis Blues have been struggling to get their offense going as of late and everyone is sitting back, asking themselves what happened? The Blues had an incredible start to the season. St. Louis hit that mid-season slump and it was almost as if we were re-watching last season’s games all over again. It felt like Jake Allen was back to his daily struggle before Martin Brodeur stepped in as a goalie coach. Carter Hutton did an impeccable job of trying to put the team on his back to carry them out of their funk.
Although losing their last game against Colorado, the Blues still lead them in shots on goal at 45-23, but could only sneak one past Avs goaltender, Semyon Varlamov, who has been outstanding for them. The St. Louis Blues had 13 shots on their goaltender in the first period on Thursday night. They then came into Saturday nights game and put a crushing 16 shots on the young netminder of the New York Rangers. It’s starting to feel like the Blues are Marching In… Again. It feels as though they have finally started to find their game again. St. Louis is starting to play better than we have seen through much of their mid-season slump.
The Second Period
The Blues came back out onto the ice with their 1-0 lead and everyone in the crowd was electric until .42 seconds into the period. As Jesper Fast puts a shot on net from the boards that was deflected by the midsection of Mika Zibanejad over the left side shoulder of Jake Allen to tie the game at 1-1. Although tying the game up, and what you would think is deflating for the St. Louis Blues, You’ll be surprised by the fact that shortly afterwards, Chris Thorburn marched back into the Rangers zone and left a drop pass at the top of the right-hand circle to Nikita Soshnikov who lasers one over the glove side of Georgiev and off the crossbar into the Rangers net to take the lead 2-1.
The Rangers, at 12.07 in the 2nd Period, score an awkward goal due to a crazy rugby pile up in the crease on Jake Allen. Mats Zuccarello takes a shot on Jake Allen who snags it with his glove, but then in a craze, accidentally throws the puck at his pad where it deflects back into the net tying the game at 2-2. This is starting to feel like an intense back and forth game of tennis, the Blues struggle to keep the puck out of their net. Much of this is due to very bad discipline and not being able to stay out of the penalty box. As The New York Rangers are on the Power Play Chris Kreider receives a pass down below the goal line and then turns his back to the play and makes a blind pass to Mika Zibanejad who puts one between Jake Allen’s Blocker and Right Pad to make it 3-2 New York Rangers. The St. Louis Blues fought back for the remainder of the 2nd period but would be unable to score a goal.
The St. Louis Blues Nightmare
Although hard to know what is going on until we get an update from the St. Louis Blues medical staff. Vladimir Tarasenko was taken out of Saturday nights game due to precautionary reasons. Vladimir Tarasenko was skating into the corner and took an elbow high to the head, and was taken out of the game to be checked for a concussion. Reasons to worry is because usually, they will evaluate the player and then allow him to play if everything checks out. Unfortunately, this was not the case on Saturday night. Vladimir Tarasenko was never brought back into the game.
The Third Period
As the Third period begins, the St. Louis Blues come out very aggressive and make a ton of noise in front of the New York Rangers goaltender. This makes the Rangers take a slashing penalty. Which puts the Blues on their third Power Play of the game. Then, Alexander Steen enters the Rangers Zone were he passes it off to Brayden Schenn, who drops it off to Jaden Schwartz, then he moves it to the blue-line to Dunn. Dunn then Passes across the blue-line to the Captain Alex Pietrangelo who draws back on a monster of a slap shot that sneaks through the crowd of players in front of the net and beats the Rangers goaltender over his pad and under the blocker. The Rangers goaltender could not see the shot due to the big body of Alexander Steen standing in front of him. This ties the game at 3-3 and gives the St. Louis Blues an incredible opportunity to win this game in regulation. Unfortunately, the Blues are unable to capitalize on this opportunity. They are however able to keep the puck out of their own net for the entire third period to push it into overtime and make it a 3 point game.
Oh, Captain! My Captain!
I want to make a mention of Alex Pietrangelo because I feel there has been a ton of people who have thought that he does not deserve to be the Captain. This game just killed that thought, because he played with a never die attitude. He was able to put two goals up on the board tonight and played some absolutely phenomenal defense the entire game. Every Captain is going to deal with adversity and go through trials like the St. Louis Blues have this season. I Personally believe that Alex Pietrangelo’s game is only going to grow especially as our Captain here in St. Louis. So if you are one of the non-believers of Alex Pietrangelo, please give him to time to learn how to become not only the Captain we want but the Captain we Deserve.
Bonus Hockey (Overtime)
The good ole’ Overtime Hockey always make for gut clinching edge of your seat hockey. Less than a minute into the overtime New York Rangers Mika Zibanejad makes a cross-ice pass to Chris Kreider who puts a wrister on to the St. Louis Blues net but Jake Allen Sprawls out to make a beautiful save with his blocker. Then Alex Pietrangelo make a Pass up to Brayden Schenn who enters the zone runs into New York Rangers defense buts makes an absolutely stunning spin-o-rama move around their defense and shoots a low wrister on the New York Rangers goaltender and beats him on his blocker side to win the game in OVERTIME!!! The Blues walk away with 2 points which brings them closer to grabbing the bottom Wild Card Spot in the Western Conference.
Although he did not score I saw an incredible amount of speed and skill in Tage Thompson who seems to be getting better and better after every game he plays. It seems as though he will only become a more and more dynamic player as he gets older and gets more experience in the NHL. I really look forward to seeing what will happen with him over the next couple of years. What an incredible draft pick.
Nikita Soshnikov was a questionable move at the deadline for a lot of St. Louis Blues fans, but he has been proving us wrong ever since getting his visa to play in the United States. He’s become a dynamic player for St. Louis and now that he has that first Goal with St. Louis I look forward to seeing what he can bring to our team whether it be this year or next year. I think he will make for an incredible part of our core group of players.