It’s only one game. It’s only one game, it’s only one game, it’s only one game. That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself after watching the St. Louis Blues get rocked by the Winnipeg Jets by a 5-1 score.
It’s not time to be too critical, but it is time to call it as it was during the opener.
The Blues rolled out a completely revamped roster featuring a ton of new faces brought in through trades, free agency or through the organization’s farm system. While fans spent time learning who was who based on their jersey number (it’s still weird seeing a new #21), the players mostly resembled the Blues of old.
Lots of the passes were sloppy. You could probably chalk this up to a lack of chemistry between all the new players. You can also chalk it up to the players not looking ready to play. Everything was just a little off the mark, whether it came to clearing the zone, entering the zone or holding the zone.
Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was awesome, though a decent number of the Blues’ chances were directed right at him with little traffic. How often have you seen the Blues rattle up the shot totals while failing to score?
Worst of all was the fact the Blues were trailing 1-0 in the third with the man advantage. After narrowly missing a goal, the Blues coughed up a short-handed tally the other way. The Jets tacked on a couple quick strikes (one fancy redirect, one 2-on-0 break) and the Blues were finished.
The Blues of old would let one bad situation, play or bounce unravel their entire evening. Such was the case in the opener. That missed goal and short-handed goal the other way caused the team to completely collapse. Instead of standing tall and bringing it back, the Blues folded.
Most of what we saw can be forgiven because it’s the first game of an 82-game schedule. However, the fans who were heckling and sarcastically cheering Jake Allen are about as ugly as the Blues’ play in the third period. Where’s the sarcastic cheering for the total lack of offense? Where’s the heckling for the awful defending that led to the breakaway or the 2-on-0? Where’s the common sense that tells these people it’s a team game and the whole team looked pretty lousy in front of Allen?
Allen had no chance on at least three of the goals he allowed. That’s being fair. It’s also fair to point out that the Blues would’ve still lost if he made a few miraculous saves to hold the Jets to two goals. The Blues’ offense only solved Hellebuyck when the game was well out of reach. Vince Dunn‘s goal was the definition of a garbage time goal.
First game is out of the way. Let’s hope we don’t see too many more efforts like that again this season.