Rinne the Difference for Preds
We often make hockey more complicated than it needs to be. When you allow 16 shots against you should walk out of the rink with two points.
I’m not going to go overboard on Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak but there’s no way to sugarcoat his performance, he wasn’t good enough.
On a positive note the Blues still have 81 games remaining on the schedule.
Sure at times the Blues were sloppy in the offensive zone but that isn’t why they lost. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne made one big save after another and stole a victory for the Predators.
When the goaltender at the other end of the rink is making saves you have to match his performance and Halak was unable to come up with a big save when his team needed it.
Depending how you look at it, Rinne or Halak was the difference Saturday night.
Either way it’s not the start the Blues wanted and you could read the body language on several players after the game. They won’t publicly throw their goaltender under the bus but they obviously weren’t pleased.
We will continue to evaluate this as the season progresses.
The Predators had played without several of their best players including Martin Erat and Mike Fisher.
T.J. Oshie played a strong game for St. Louis. He and Andy MacDonald were the Blues best players up front.
Alex Pietrangelo led the Blues with 26:22 of ice time.
It wasn't a very physical game according to the stat sheet. Nashville had only eight hits all night while only nine Blues players registered a hit. Big bodies Patrik Berglund, Roman Polak, Jason Arnott and Chris Stewart combined for zero hits.
Jason Arnott got better as the game progressed. When he’s skating he can still be an impact player. It may have taken him two periods to get going but he played well in the third. Arnott struggled in the face-off dot winning just one of six draws in the first period before rebounding in strong fashion taking eight of his next ten face-offs. Arnott found himself on the PP in the third period scoring a big goal that tied the game at 2-2.
Nashville would take the lead for good just seconds later.
Jamie Langenbrunner was also noticeable throwing his body around. This guy battles as he got involved after the whistle on a few occasions. No one can say he didn’t compete as he obviously came ready to play.
David Backes hit on Patric Hornqvist a reviewable play?
Several members of the Predators staff certainly thought so and you wonder if they plan on making a call to the league. If the NHL reacts to this hit we’re in trouble. Is the alternative to allow Hornqvist to skate by?
If it’s not a hit from behind or from the blindside and the hit doesn’t result in a penalty or an injury then it shouldn’t even be reviewed. I guess the league can determine how they want hockey to be played.
The league should pay more attention to the Blake Geoffrion trip that resulted in the Blues playing with five D-men for half the game. Carlo Colaiacovo needed help off the ice and didn’t return. Putting your stick under an opposing players skate as he chases down a puck is a dangerous play.
I’m told Colaiacovo had his bell rung as his head got pinned to the wall. He’ll be evaluated Sunday and his status for Monday is unknown.
Payne Shows Reflexes?
It was a little confusing in the third period when the Blues were assessed a delay of game penalty after Chris Stewart shot the puck over the boards and onto the Blues bench. The referee determined Head Coach Davis Payne prevented the puck from going into the stands by knocking it down with his hand. It didn’t look like it would have gone over.
Crombeen still wearing sling....
Forward B.J. Crombeen will know more in the next few days as to how long he's going to be sidelined with a shoulder fracture. I'm told it could be an 8-12 week injury as long as surgery isn't needed.
What were those on the ice before the game, green men?
More to come,
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