Another tough loss for the Blue note tonight as they blew a late third period lead to rival Detroit and eventually lost in a shootout.
After two lack luster periods things picked up in the third period after Ryan Reaves was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for his hit on Brad Stuart. This hit should not have been more than a two minute boarding call but the referees thought otherwise. After the game, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was visibly upset when asked about the Reaves hit on Stuart simply stating, “I didn’t like the call.” Hitch was also surprised that Reaves received such a harsh penalty on the play when earlier in the game late in the second period there was no penalty given to Franzen’s illegal hit on Blues caption David Backes.
Even though the Blues were short handed for five minutes David Perron provided a huge spark by picking the pocket of the Detroit power play unit and was able to score an unassisted shorthanded goal beating Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard high blocker side. The shorthanded goal was Perron’s twentieth of the season. The Blues we’re done when just a few minutes after the Blues killed the five minute power play, Andy McDonald was able to score a shorthanded goal of his own to make it 2-0 Blues.
Once the Blues scored their second goal, Detroit really applied the offensive pressure and rallied to tie the game at 2-2 after a pair of goals from Johan Franzen. After a scoreless overtime, the Blues would eventually fall short in a 1-0 shootout giving Detroit a 3-2 come from behind win. St. Louis is now 4-10 in shootouts this season, with seven of those shootout losses coming in a 1-0 score.
The St. Louis Blues have slowly diminished their strong play and ability to close out games. Although the Blue note did play better tonight the fact is in their last ten games the Blues are 3-3-4. This does cause for some serious concerns among Blues fans. However, all four overtime losses have come in the shootout so even though that is concerning, fans should take comfort in knowing shootouts do not exist in the playoffs. Why does this bode well for the team? The reason is simple. The Blues have the best +/- in the NHL in 5 on 5 play. Therefore a continuous overtime gives the Blues a much better shot at winning overtime rounds during the playoffs playing five minute overtime periods that lead to shootouts during the regular season.
Since the Blues have been historically bad in shootouts since it’s implementation after the lockout, the question should be asked…do the Blues look for a shootout specialist for the regular season? Their ten shootout losses this season will eventually cost the team the President’s Trophy and guaranteed home ice advantage during the playoffs.
About the Author
Written by Tommy Garner
Born and raised in St. Louis. Blues fan and season ticket holder, economist and co-host of The Blue Line podcast featuring none other than your St. Louis Blues. Tune in Sunday at 2pm central time on blogtalkradio.com and give us your thoughts, comments and opinions.