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Saturday, Oct. 15 review: versus Columbus Blue Jackets
October 16, 2022
Final Score: St. Louis Blues: five – Columbus Blue Jackets: two
Even before PA Announcer Tom Calhoun started reading the opening lineup, Blues fans were tense. Let’s rip the band-aid off and talk about what happened this offseason. The Blues got worse. With losing in David Perron and Ville Husso combined with early injuries to Scott Perunovich and Marco Scandella left the Blues’ defensive structure in shambles.But when Head Coach Craig Berube opened the game with his signature line of last season, the Saad-O’Reily-Kyrou line, and the tension lifted away. It’s hockey season.
The Blues looked strong in the opening period, but the third line left a little to be desired. Only 18 seconds into the first power play of the game, Torey Krug found Pavel Buchnevich for his first goal of the season. The Blues seemed to lose a bit of energy in the final minutes, but overall dominated the first period in terms of physicality. The 4th line of Walker-Accarri-Toropchenko looked powerful, and their defensive presence was hard to miss. Jake Neighbours began the trend of the night as he passed away a puck skating into the blue paint, giving up a phenomenal chance. Despite the weak effort by the third line, the Blues finished the first period in good position. one-nothing, good guys.
Jubilation filled the stands as hero of the people Vladimir Tarasenko throttled a wrister past a poorly positioned Elvis Merzlikins. Despite an abundance of energy to open the period, Blues fans returned to their usual in-season depression as Columbus scored two in 18 seconds to slash the excitement from the building. The Blues lacked backcheck and defense from their forwards during the entire second period. While I wouldn’t blame the first goal on Jordan Binnington, he overcommitted on the second, leaving his left side wide open for an easy wrister. The Blues poured on the chances late in the period, with multiple opportunities to score on an exhausted Columbus goaltender. two-two.
The Blues carried over their offensive energy from the end of the second period into the third. Columbus looked gassed and the Blues took the opportunity to make the game less entertaining for Blue Jackets fans. . Jake Neighbours and Ivan Barbashev netted their first goals of the season on incredible plays. Neighbours is most definitely ready for that primetime NHL spot. The only qualm with the Blues was their under-utilization of defensemen in the slot, as Parayko seemed primed for a huge blast in multiple instances. five-two, the Blues pick up their third straight season-opener win.
Shoot the puck:
The Blues need to pass less and shoot more. Jake Neighbours redeemed himself, but the Blues couldn’t figure out how to shoot the puck in the second period. I understand that hockey breeds selflessness, but if they don’t find a way to make their net-front play more consistent, we’re in for a long season.
Jake Neighbors is Ready:
Despite some doubt from top NHL statisticians as to whether Neighbours would be ready given his lack of experience in professional hockey, he looked phenomenal on the ice. Quick skating, strong stick presence, and even a couple hits to boot with his first goal of the season, he’s ready to play with the big boys.
Vova wants blood:
Vladimir Tarasenko is on a bender. He scored a career-high of 79 points last season and he looks lethal again. Despite the looming contract talks of next offseason (or trade talks come the deadline) Vladdy looks motivated to once again lead this team into a strong postseason.
Blues bits Three Stars of the Game
First Star: Vladimir Tarasenko – 2G
Second Star: Jake Neighbours – 1G
Third Star: Pavel Buchnevich – 1G, 1A