The home futility continues for the St. Louis Blues. If they could play all of their games on the road I bet they would consider it at this point. It's a completely different Blues team on the ice at home than on the road, which is quite frustrating for Blues fans...and like Monday night, can get quite embarrassing.
The Blues came out flat against the Avs but seemed like they would pick up their game once they got into the first intermission with no score. But that didn't happen. The Blues took a late penalty and gave up a late power-play goal before the period ended. That would turn out to be all Colorado needed on this night, when the Blues never really got their heads into the game and couldn't hit the net if it was a matter of life or death.
The second goal was ugly, simple as that. After somewhat good offensive pressure, the Blues miss the net on a scoring chance, a lot of those in the game, the puck wrapped around the boards and out, giving the Avs a 2-on-1 break. After Chris Mason made the first save on the cross-ice pass, he fails to cover the puck as his momentum is taking him away from the net. So instead of covering the puck and stopping the play, Mason tries to sweep the puck away with his stick, failing at that as well. Mason misses the puck and gets blindsided by a Colorado player, who goes flying into Mason.
Turns out the Blues defenseman pushed the Avs player into Mason, taking him out of the play, and leaving Paul Stastny the easiest goal he will ever get in his career, a lollipop tip-in with an empty net and the Blues goalie being mounted to the ice. The Blues complained that it was goaltender interference but if they go back and check the replay, they'll have only themselves to blame.
The third goal was simple fundamentals by Colorado. They fore-checked the puck loose, the defenseman feeds a pass across the blue-line to the other point man, who fires it on net, and they score on a redirection in front of the net. The Avs player was all alone in front. Mason possibly should have made the save on the first and third goals, which were both redirected, but he needs his defense to help him out a lot more than they did in this game.
The fourth goal was one Mason wishes he could have had back. Rookie sniper Matt Duchene streaks down the left side, cuts to the middle and wrists one through Chris Mason's five-hole. There was no screen. No deflection. Just a clean shot that Mason saw all the way, but somehow let through. You could argue that the defense should have stepped up and taken Duchene out as soon as he broke to the middle of the ice, but they contained Duchene and forced him to settle for a clean shot that you have faith your all-pro goaltender will routinely stop.
By the end of the game, the fans and the players were thankful that this catastrophe was over. The Blues played bland, uninspired hockey for most of the night. Their scouting of the Avs should have told them that they're the best shot-blocking team in the league, yet the Blues played right to their specialty.
But it wasn't as much what the Avs did to win the game, but what the Blues didn't do. They DIDN'T hit the net on scoring chances. The Blues broadcast team was keeping track of missed shots for both teams, and at one point in the third period the count was 20 missed shots for the Blues to only 5 for Colorado. It's the simple hockey that the Blues are not playing. Get everything on net. They try to pick a corner, they want to make an extra move, but when they throw it on net, there's chances for rebounds to put in. It doesn't matter how pretty your goals are, the most important thing is that they all count one.
The good news for the Blues, if there is any to take away from this game, they head on the road once again, to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Wednesday night. Let's hope they forget about this game and get back to simplifying their game.