The first takeaway from Thursday’s dominating 4-1 win in San Jose is: the team got Mike Yeo’s message following Wednesday night’s loss in Anaheim
As much as we’d like to think the Note were listening to these 101ESPN takeaways, the fact is they didn’t need to hear it from anyone other than Mike Yeo.
The Blues were asleep at the wheel in the 2nd period on Wednesday and yesterday they did everything in their power to make sure that didn’t happen again. They dominated the 1st period, but found themselves tied on the scoreboard at one because of a fluke goal…but that didn’t stop them.
The team came out held the Sharks in the neutral zone, keeping their shots to a minimum and let their 3rd and 4th lines wear down San Jose waiting for the dam to burst.
It did and the third period was one of the best we’ve seen from this team and that came even while up holding a lead and with the Sharks in desperation mode.
Again, the shot total alone 36-20 tells the story, but then you add in the 21 block shots and the 14 different players with a shot on net…the team heard Mike Yeo loud on clear on Wednesday night.
The second takeaway from this 4-1 win to wrap up the tough part of the roadtrip is: the 3rd and 4th line may have dominated again but Vladimir Tarasenko and the top line led the way.
Vladdy had 8 shots on goal, attempted 10 all together and once again was the motor for this Blues team, and rightfully he, Paul Stastny, and Jaden Schwartz needed to be.
That line had a total of 15 shots…probably 10 scoring chances…and they were the difference makers in the win.
The 4th line was great early…Scottie Upshall, Ryan Reaves, and Kyle Brodziak wore the Sharks down.
The 3rd line created havoc with their speed as Zach Sanford, Magnus Paajarvi, and Ivan Barbashev proved to be too much to handle for the Sharks 3rd line.
But the killers were Tarasenko, who netted goals 33 and 34, including a nice power-play goal that came from crashing the net and outworking San Jose.
JK and Panger noted how the Sharks 4 lines couldn’t roll with the Blues 4 lines because each one of them has a different element…which proves when rolling all four the Blues CAN be dangerous…but the question is how often will that happen?
The third and final takeaway from this nice win in San Jose is: No excuse for a letdown now.
Bernie wrote it last week, so call me late to the party but despite all the ups and downs, this Blues team not being as good as they were last year there is absolutely no excuse for them to miss the postseason.
You just went 2-1 vs. SJ, LA, ANA on the road…if you follow that up with duds in the last 12 games then there are some serious character issues in the locker room.
Of those 12, six are against the Avalanche (NHL’s worst team) or the Coyotes (NHL’s 2nd worst team)
They also have games remaining vs. the 26th worst team (Vancouver), the 23rd worst team Winnipeg, the 22nd worst team (Carolina), and the 21st worst team (Florida)
So that is 10 of the 12 remaining games against the 9 of the worst teams in the NHL…there is no excuses now for this Blues team…you’re in a playoff spot…keep it that way!