In front of a packed house at the Scottrade Center on Brett Hull night, the Blues pulled out a rare home victory on a beautiful late goal by T.J. Oshie. It was a great play set up by the forecheck of David Backes, allowing Paul Kariya to take the puck and feed Oshie with a beautiful pass that Oshie roofed.
Another rarity, the Blues scored a power-play goal. That unit still looks lost however. The Blues seem to be killing their own man advantage by miscommunication and bad passing. It still looks like the opponents get more scoring chances while shorthanded than the Blues get on the power-play.
On another note, despite the loss, Calgary is a perfect example of the kind of game the Blues should play. The Flames are so precise and confident with the puck. On their first goal, Dion Phaneuf backhanded a beautiful pass cross-ice through Darryl Sydor, Keith Tkachuk, went through the crease of Chris Mason, and then past Erik Johnson righ onto the stick of Rene Bourque for a goal. Phaneuf said in the intermission he saw Bourque over there and launched the puck hoping it would get to him. It's that kind of confidence and risk taking that will win the Flames many games this year. I would like to see the Blues take more chances on passes.
Also, the physical play of Calgary was phenomenal. The Blues tried to respond with the body but could not match the big strong defensemen of the Flames. Calgary took the body and held possession of the puck for a great deal of the game, and they seemed to be in control, especially after they got the go-ahead goal from Dustin Boyd.
The Blues really need to look at some film of how Calgary plays, because even their passing is so crisp and with a purpose. The Blues sometimes seem to be passing to each other hoping the other will bail them out. They don't seem to play with confidence sometimes, and that may be why they miss the net so much on scoring chances. It makes a world of difference if they shoot the puck with confidence. You see glimpses of it from the Blues when they play on the road, they play with their backs against the wall. Why can't they do it at home.
Moving on....the Blues second goal of the game, scored by Andy MacDonald late in the first period seemed like a set play. The defenseman fed the puck to Brad Boyes at center, who did a spin move and wrapped the puck to a breaking Andy MacDonald, whose speed got him past the defenseman and a shot at the Flames' netminder one-on-one. MacDonald came through with a goal, much like he's had success one-on-one in the shootout this year.
The Blues are right back on the road Wednesday night in Chicago. A real good test against arguably the best team in the NHL. It will be interesting to see how the Blues play against them considering their road success.