After both teams took at least 50 shots on goal last night, you definitely expected a defensive game. This is exactly what we saw as both teams came out really trying to trap players in the defensive zone. Both the Blues and the Ducks fought hard to keep each team from getting any good chances until 18:21 in the game. The Blues have one defensive breakdown. Then Jakob Silfverberg catches a stretch pass from Max Comtois behind the Blues defense and went off to the races beating Chad Johnson over the glove on a breakaway. Overall it looked as though the Blues were putting an incredible amount of pressure on Ryan Miller, but just were not able to beat him. Although the Blues come out of this period down 1-0, they did outshoot the Ducks 10-7.
Where’s our defense?
I remember going into this season and feeling very comfortable with our defense. However, I think there needs to be a slight change though for our defense. The reason I say this is because I feel there is a ton of people wanting to jump at Jake Allen and say he’s the problem. I completely think that it is the fact that we have an old veteran defenseman that hasn’t really shown any spark. One of which I have been most frustrated with is Jay Bouwmeester. I’m not saying he is terrible, however, do something please! I have seen a couple of plays that have left me scratching my head. I would even say sit him and let the young kids get some ice time. I think if you let some of the youngsters play, you might actually see a more intense and aggressive defense than what we have been seeing.
This game continued to be a defensive struggle even though the Ducks opened up the scoring in the first period. There was, however, a couple of times that the Blues defense had you sitting on the edge of your seat praying for a miracle. Luckily Chad Johnson came up with some great saves! The Blues did look extremely flat offensively almost this entire period. They get a Power Play midway through the period and were unable to capitalize on it. They had completely gassed the Ducks in their zone but a bad pass allows them to make a line change. The Blues would still be unable to get a puck past Ryan Miller.
Shortly after the Power Play ends Edmundson takes a low slapper from the point and as it travels to the net it hits Alexander Steen which then beats Ryan Miller Glove Side making the game 1-1 at 11:49 in the Second Period. The Blues would take a penalty with 6:49 remaining in the Second Period. The Ducks would then take a slashing penalty against the Blues only one minute and twenty-four seconds after the Blues penalty. This would give the Blues a Power Play where Tyler Bozak would crash in front of the net with Patrick Maroon after Vladimir Tarasenko would take a shot on net. Patrick Maroon would bounce one off of Ryan Miller’s pads and Tyler Bozak would catch the rebound and put it past Ryan Miller on his blocker side! Making it 2-1 with 4:08 remaining in the Second Period. The Blues would continue to put on a lot of pressure in the offensive zone as the final seconds would come to close out the Second Period.
Chad Johnson’s debut
It seemed like when signing Chad Johnson, everyone knew that was their way of saying Jake Allen was our #1 goaltender. Even if this is true we brought in a good backup goaltender even if his numbers look a little shaky in the offseason. He has stood on his head to keep the Blues in this game. He has done a phenomenal job positioning himself directly in front of the puck to help the Blues stay in this game. I think this game is a good indication of how well he can play and personally I look forward to seeing him playing more games this year. Especially when Jake Allen needs a break.
The third period, very similar to the second period, was a very defensive game as both teams battled for puck possession and tried to get it past their opposing goaltenders. However, Josh Manson would pass the puck across the ice from the point. The puck would go between Brian Gibbons legs to Cam Fowler. Cam Fowler, then would wind up a huge slapshot. The slapshot would then ricochet off of Ben Streets stick and get past Chad Johnson to tie the game only 7:16 into the Third period. The Blues would battle it out and with 7:16 remaining in the period Joel Edmundson would reach out to grab a puck and would end up tripping Brian Gibbons which would end up giving them a Power Play. The Blues looked really good on the penalty kill and just when you feel that the Blues got this killed off, Andrew Cogliano would find a rebound from Ryan Kesler in front of the net as it gets past Chad Johnson on his low blocker side.
Even though the Ducks had taken the lead the Blues did not quit. They had an incredible amount of chances against Ryan Miller. The Blues would pull their goalie right 2:30 left in the game the Blues would put a ton of pressure on the Ducks as the clock would dwindle down. The Blues would make for an incredible set up in front of the net with a chance to score. Vladimir Tarasenko would pass it down to Patrick Maroon who would bounce it off of the pads of Ryan Miller. David Perron would reach in to try and get the goal but unfortunately, it would get shut down as Ryan Miller would collapse his body on top of the puck to get the whistle. The Blues would be unable to capture that third goal to tie it up and would end up losing against the Ducks, even after having a fairly good game considering all of the previous games.