ETA: I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends and relatives in Canada a wonderful Thanksgiving. Those of us here in the US are happy to have you as neighbors.
Original: The Flames couldn't handle the Blues Saturday night and showed their youth and inexperience with numerous fumbled pucks and chances.
The Blues jumped out to an early lead Saturday night against the Flames and never looked back. The first goal came less than a minute in on a beautiful passing play from Alexander Steen to Paul Stastny who made an excellent pass to Joakin Lindstrom at the far post for an easy goal, his first regular season goal as Blue. Most may miss is the instrumental play Lindstrom made before Steen got the puck. Lindstrom pressured Setoguchi and Engelland at the Flames blue line and may have even tripped Engelland. His forecheck caused the turnover to Steen and he was smart enough to drive to the far post of the net. I hope Blues fans don't get too hard on Lindstrom while he is re-adjusting to the North American game. I think he will be very effective third liner, maybe second liner but more on that later. By the way, Hiller made a valiant effort on the play and covered more of the net than most goalie ever would have.
Mid way through the first period, the Blues got their first power play goal of the year from a good deflection by David Backes on a blast from Kevin Shattenkirk at the point. The Blues added their second power play goal of the night early in the second period. Kevin Shattenkirk blasted a shot wide that bounced off the end boards behind the goal and out into the slot on the other side right onto the stick of Alex Pietrangelo for the easy goal. I wonder if the Blues have practiced this as a set play? As a goalie, I gave up this exact goal in an all-star but to much lesser players where it likely was a complete accident, lol.
The Blues added to there lead less than five minutes later on a masterful play by Jaden Schwartz and a Brett Hull like goal from Vladimir Tarasenko. Kevin Shattenkirk gets a weak assist on the play for throwing the puck behind the Flames net. Somehow shielding and protecting the puck from two Flames and then providing a beautiful pass to Tarasenko in the slot for a one time blast to which Jonas Hiller yet again had no chance of making a save.
The Flames ended Elliott's bid for a shutout on a Curtis Glencross power play deflection of a Mark Giordano shot from the point.
- Schwartz and Tarasenko continue to impress. How good can these two be?
- Stastny showed his good play making ability
- Elliott had a good statistical night and made the saves he should and a few good ones
- Hiller was impressive as the game easily could have been six or seven to one
- Cole made better passes with the puck and set up a beautiful play for what should have been a primary assist in the first but the forward fanned on the play.
- Shattenkirk and Bouwmeester appear to be a solid pairing as do Pietrangelo with either Cole or Lindbohm
- The power play improved by getting off quicker shots while shooting lanes were open, something that has been lacking for quite a while.
- The Backes, Oshie, Ott line looked very slow. I hope it was because they were used a lot (seven minutes) on the penalty kill but they sure looked to be the third line.
- Porter had game low ice time at less than nine minutes and was hardly noticeable
- Lapierre may have the oddest skating stride of any Blues player, lots of leg movement but looks to be inefficient.
- Once Berglund is back, look for either or both of Porter or Lapierre to be out of the lineup. It wouldn't surprise me if Berglund and MPS were in and Porter and Lapierre out.
- The Blues need to pick a new save of the game selector. Elliott got in a bad spot which made the save they picked look better but it was an easy pop up. Not at all a save of the game, lol.