By Patrick Kelly
The Blues were able to get out of Calgary on Tuesday with a 5-4 win in a shootout. If you had missed the game and just heard head coach Craig Berube speak to the media after the game you wouldn’t think the Blues came close to playing well. “Two points” that’s all Berube wanted to take away from the game.
The Blues got caught playing the Flames’ high-paced, quick back and forth play that they are built for as a young team. When you get caught playing that kind of game against them you are forced to make mistakes and the Flames did that early, forcing the Blues to take three penalties before the halfway point of the game, all of which Calgary was able to convert.
The Blues’ goaltending is something that hasn’t been great since the break. Even though both Jake Allen and Jordan Binnington have only played one game each, they both walked away letting in a few more goals than they would have liked. This could just be a minor hiccup though for both goalies. Allen has been playing excellent in his new role this year and Binnington has continued to find his game over the past month and has been a big reason for their success.
On Friday night, the Blues face off against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. The Blues have had success stopping the two biggest point-getters in the NHL this year in McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl who are both tied with 77 points. The Blues have played the Oilers once home and once away this year, coming away with the win both times by a combined score of 7-3. Allen had the start in both games, stopping a combined 69 shots, and only letting in three.
The 2020 Blues seem to be the epitome of bad luck when it comes to the schedule this year. They started the Christmas break having to fly from the west coast. Then to end the break they have to travel again up to Winnipeg. Their All-Star break started with an away game and now the second half the season is starting with two different back-to-backs, on the road for all four, when there are some teams who aren’t even playing their third game this week until the weekend. Following the game against Edmonton, the Blues stay in Canada, ending their road trip in Winnipeg for a big divisional match before returning home for a few games. The last two meetings between the Blues and Jets was a home-and-home over New Years where the Blues entered 2020 with a 2-0 record.