Face it, the Blues are at a point where there are NO moral victories. Once again, they put together a solid first period at Joe Louis Arena, just to let Detroit push back and completely dominate by the end.
I hope the players in that Blues locker room have a very bad taste in their mouth on their flight home tonight. They need to get fired up over their third loss in Detroit this season. They've played well enough that they should expect to win every night, no matter if its at home or on the road. This one will burn deep, but the truth is NOBODY beats the Red Wings in Detroit. They're at 17 straight wins and counting.
The Blues put together a solid first period and outworked the Red Wings and frustrated them. The Wings were out of their element and off their game, and the broadcasting crew let it be known that coach Mike Babcock was not happy with his team after the first 20 minutes. The Blues scored the first goal on a beautiful and rare Blues tally on an odd-man rush. Usually they become confused, make an extra pass, miss the net or don't get a shot at all. You had to feel good about their chances based on their first period.
The Red Wings strike back. The Blues expected it, but they never seemed to find their game from the first period. Yes, you have to give Chris Stewart credit for sticking up for Alex Pietrangelo, but he took himself out of the game for 17 minutes, and put his team on the penalty kill to begin the period. That cost them the first goal.
The second goal was the Wings just outworking the Blues, the tables were now turned, and Johan Franzen made Pietrangelo look bad in front of the net. "Petro" ended up on the ice in front of Jaroslav Halak, and Franzen was spinning a goal under the pad of Halak.
Everything after that seem to go downhill, yet you had some small ray of hope, that the Blues would regroup, make adjustments and come out inspired in the third. Caution/Spoiler Alert: Read the next segment at your own risk, because it got real ugly.
Let's just fast forward through the boring first 12 minutes of the third period. It was a lot of uninspired hockey by the Blues, filled with the classic missed opportunities, shots wide of the net, and sloppy passing. The Blues has their chances, but they squandered them, one by one. It's the story of their season on offense, which is why they struggle to score goals.
Despite the ugliness, the Blues still had a chance to win the game up until the 4-minute mark of the third period. That's when Carlo Colaiacovo preserved the win for the Red Wings. He felt it was necessary to attack a Red Wings player and stand up for Alex Pietrangelo again, after he got decked into the boards. Not only did he get sent to the box, but as expected, the Detroit capitalized yet again on the power play, all thanks to simple hockey.
Shots from the point, screen the goaltender, and HIT THE NET. Kronwall's nail-in-the-coffin goal was a perfect example. Jaroslav Halak never stood a chance, he didn't even get down in his butterfly position, never saw it coming. The Red Wings are one of the top teams in getting scoring from their defensemen. Clearly it's from all the goals and assists they rack up from their point shots hitting the net and having a chance to go in.
As a Blues fan, the loss hurts extra deep because it was to the hated rival Red Wings. It clearly shows the Blues aren't exactly where they want to be, despite all the success. It shows that the playoffs won't be easy for the Blues and they do have their flaws. Their defensive play and very little goal scoring won't work in the playoffs. They need to either make a trade for some scoring, like Anaheim's Bobby Ryan, or maybe a better option, learn how to hit the net on their shots and convert odd-man breaks.
This team has come a long way since Davis Payne was fired early in the season. But as much success as they've had, tonight's game is another reminder that their bright and sunny season can quickly come crashing down if they don't address the holes they have. The only good part is that they have very few holes to fill. They truly are not far off from being the best in the not only the West, but in the entire NHL.Back to the St. Louis Blues Newsfeed