That was a lot… it was 40 minutes of frustration followed by 20 minutes of a helluva good time. Blues sneak past Florida 4-3, in Jaden Schwartz return to action. Recap down below.
Jaden Schwartz took no time at all to become a positive impact player, he shagged a fly ball and had a great chance on his backhand. Drew a penalty for the good guys. The Power Play was honestly good for some solid puck possession. Though Roberto Luongo was never really tested. Late in the 4-minute power play, Tarasenko lasered a shot off the post, but its really the only scoring threat they had.
An entry dump into Florida’s zone from Robert Bortuzzo, nailed the referee in the gut, it caromed off of him and snuck behind Luongo. It was fun for a second, but it didn’t count. Here’s a look at it courtesy of Cristiano Simonetta’s twitter.
This honestly is one of the weirdest plays ever.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) December 12, 2018
As Luongo was stretching out his leg after he tweaked his lower body, Robert Thomas beat two defensemen to force Luongo to make a good save. The Blues had controlled the beginning 8 minutes of play. They have had good opening stretches a lot in this funk they’ve been in. The problem is when a bounce goes against them they crumble like a flan in week one of the British Baking Show.
The midway point of the first is plagued with sloppy hockey, no flow, just bouncing pucks with no rhythm.
The last few minutes of the period the ice started to tilt, Florida missed an open net and a minute later Dadonov was found low in the zone and put it in. The Blues didn’t clear and that’s what happens. Blues controlled the period, but like most of the starts to games during this stretch, they can’t score. Whether it be a confidence thing or a talent thing, this offense needs a shakeup. The defensive miscues aren’t numerous but they are so costly when you commit them so close to your net.
After 1, 1-0 Kittens.
Blues got called for too many men on the ice. This isn’t on repeat. This is the eighth such penalty they have taken and the 5th since Berube took over. This is symptomatic of a lack of communication. Communication was also the main component of the Blues being unable to clear the puck in the first period.
Nothing came of the penalty and the period was mostly controlled by Florida. Jake made a couple of good saves and looked a little rattled in the period, but he was able to keep a clean sheet in the period.
After 2, 1-0 Cats.
What a whirlwind. After the Blues kill off the rest of the penalty on Thomas they break out on an odd-man rush with aforementioned Wunderkind Thomas. After the initial break is thwarted Thomas circles the net and finds Barbeshev for his 4th goal of the year. It was a great effort on the kill and it just broke perfectly to match when Thomas was coming out of the box.
As we were recovering from the delirium of scoring a meaningful goal for the first time in what felt like forever, the Panthers turned the puck over in their own zone and Jaden Schwartz found David Perron for a lightning fast wrist shot past Roberto Loungo’s ear. 2-1 Good Guys!
It’s frustrating to see a team so Jekyll and Hyde. They can look like warmed up dog poop and then in a brief flash they look like the contenders we expected in the preseason.
Dr. Jekyl: Perron puts in a goal off of the Florida Panthers’ defensemen. 3-1
Mr. Hyde: Florida scores two quick ones when the Blues start chasing the puck.
This team is very little fun to root for sometimes.
So it is as it has been. Surely Florida will cap this off with another goal and another heartbreaking defeat. We are getting conditioned to this. Then, it happened. Vince Dunn took a rare shot that got through from the point and Brayden Schenn put in the rebound. Wait.. what??
Then they held up, played solid D to finish a one-goal win. They actually showed resilience. They weren’t fragile.
Blues win 4-3
Evgenii Dadonov (14)
MacKenzie Weegar (1)
Matt Hoffman (15)
St. Louis 4
Ivan Barbashev (4)
David Perron (9,10)
Brayden Schenn (7)
Jake Allen was really good tonight. He wasn’t perfect. He was really good.
Jaden Schwartz is the best player on this team when he is healthy.
Roberto Luongo never ages.
Blues face Avs on Friday.
If the puck went off Luongo on the way in off of the ref, doesn’t that make it a good goal?