Blues win, Blues lose, now host the Canadiens & what about Bob?
All, sorry for the small hiatus but we had some family issues that needed tending to. While I was gone, the team continued their Jekyll & Hyde season, with Jordan Binnington earning the shutout in his 1st NHL start as the team blanked the Flyers 3-0 and then turned around and lost 3-1 to the Stars on home ice thanks to poor penalties, poor goaltending and that ever present lack of finish.
Binnington was very good on Monday. None of his saves were better than this beauty.
As a goalie, the subtle awareness and quick reaction needed here cannot be underappreciated or estimated. All in all, he made 25 stops and was very strong.
Bradyen Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko got their 1st goals against the Flyers with Tarasenko having now scored against every NHL team he has played against. There goals can be seen here:
The game wasn’t all roses for the Blues as Alexanders Steen left early with a shoulder injury and Vince Dunn also was injured. Jaden Schwartz had five more shots and still no goals. He now has an atrocious 4.1% shooting percentage for the year and hasn’t scored against a goalie since November 9, 2018 (up to 16 games now).
The following night, the Blues outshoot the Stars 27 to 17 but lost 3-1 as poor 2nd period penalties by Robert Bortuzzo and Zach Sanford gave the Stars a 5 on 3 which led to the game winning goal and really poor goaltending by Jake Allen extended the lead to 3-1.
How bad was the goal? I’ll let you decide.
Schwartz played over 21 minutes and didn’t even register a shot on goal, not a single shot. Of course, neither did Ryan O’Reilly, Robert Thomas, or Pat Maroon.
To nobody’s surprise, coach Craig Berube will go with Jordan Binnington in net tonight when the Blues host the Montreal Canadiens. It will be Binnington’s 1st home NHL start.
The Canadiens hold the last wildcard spot in the East and are 6-4 in their last 10, fresh off a victory over Detroit. They are 12-7-3 on the road and are 14th in goals per game and 19th in goals against per game. Their power play is abysmal, dead last in the league while their penalty kill is a bit better at 21st.
Max Domi leads the team with 39 points in 44 games. Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Drouin are second with 33. Jeff Petry has been very good on defense with 30 points. Carey Price will get the start in net tonight.
The Blues called up Mackenzie MacEachern as they deal with a rash of injuries (Dunn, Steen, Bozak to name a few). He is expected to play with the following lineup penciled in:
Schwartz - Schenn - Tarasenko
Sanford - O'Reilly – Perron
Fabbri – Thomas - Sundqvist
MacEachern - Barbashev - Blais
Gunnarsson - Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester - Parayko
Edmundson - Bortuzzo
In other news, Columbus Blue Jacket goalie Sergei Bobrovsky “will not be with the team” tonight when they face the Nashville Predators. Bobrovsky appeared to have an exchange with the staff after getting pulled in the last game. There hasn’t been any love lost between the Bob and coach John Tortorella. The team is keeping mum about it other than to say this is a result of an incident where Bob failed to meet the team’s expectations and values.
Blues fans might recall that Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen drafted Jake Allen. Is there a deal to be head here for the pending UFA? It’s hard to imagine without it becoming a blockbuster because of the cap situation unless it Gunnarsson and Allen plus picks/prospects for Bobrovsky plus picks/prospects. In my mind, that makes this a pretty remote possibility.
More on Bob - According to Kekalainen, "it's got nothing to do with the coach" so that seems to shoot down the initial speculation.
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.