Blues blow another 2 goal and 3rd period lead, face the struggling Flyers
On Saturday, the Blues blew yet another 2-0 goal lead and yet another 3rd period lead to the New York Islander. They Islanders had a shooting percentage of 50% over the last two periods. Yes, you read that right, 50%.
I’m not going to get into the breakdowns on the goals or the goaltending but will highlight a few things from the game.
Without Pat Maroon in the lineup, the Blues power play faltered again, going 0-5. Robby Fabbri only had 8:27 of ice time after his two penalties. Tyler Bozak, Alex Pietrangelo and Carl Gunnarsson were a team worst -2 each. Jake Allen stopped only 71.4% of the shots he faced with the Blues finding yet a way to lose, yet again.
Oskar Sundqvist had an assist, 4 shots, 2 blocks, a hit and a takeaway in only 12:24 of ice time. I’d like to see his minutes increased some given how he has been playing.
Tonight the Blues will be in Philadelphia to play the struggling Flyers. The Flyers have the 3rd worst points percentage, 3 places worse than the Blues. They are 24th in goals per game and give up the 2nd most goals per game. Their power play and penalty kill have struggled, 3rd worst in the NHL on both. The Flyers save percentage is last in the NHL, only 3 spots worse than the Blues.
It sounds like the Flyers will be going with Carter Hart in net tonight. I was hoping to see the frequent traveling Mike McKenna, a St. Louis native.
Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with 46 points in 41 games. Jakub Voracek is 2nd with 32 points. Shayne Gostisbehere leads the defensemen with only 17 points.
The Flyers lineup projects to be this:
Giroux - Couturier - Konecny
Lindblom - Patrick - Voracek
Van Riemsdyk - Weal - Simmonds
Raffl - Laughton - Weise
Provorov - Sanheim
Gostisbehere - Gudas
Hägg - Folin
Note the Flyers goalie combo will have the most unique number combo you will likely ever see – 79 (Hart) and 56 (McKenna).
The Blues will have a number of lineup changes with Jordan Binnington likely getting the start in net. Binnington is fresh off being named the AHL player of the week as he stopped 98.4% of the shots he faced and had a 0.50 goals against average. He will be making his first NHL start.
The rest of the lineup will also have some changes as Tyler Bozak is out hurt. It sounds like the lineup should look like this:
Schwartz - Schenn - Tarasenko
Steen - O'Reilly – Perron
Sanford – Thomas - Maroon
Barbashev - Sundqvist
Gunnarsson - Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester - Parayko
Dunn - Bortuzzo
Even if you assume 90 points will make the playoffs (may be too low), the Blues would need to play at a 62.7% point pace. When will this pace get high enough for the team and others to acknowledge the season is lost?
NHL Champions for Charity
We’ve gotten some traction on the charity wager among the Central Division bloggers. More on that to come.
It’s a great day for hockey.