By Patrick Kelly
It seemed like the Blues were in control. With the way they had steered the series in their favor, it looked like they had the game in hand and with it a 3-2 lead in the series. Unfortunately the Blues were unable to keep their game going past the first period despite grabbing a 3-1 lead and lost 4-3 to the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night.
After several lapses defensively, the Blues found themselves only up by one, then after a fluke goal off Jake Allen, they found themselves tied 3-3. The Blues kept up some pressure and several players had some great chances. However, unable to hold the line, and struggling to grab possession back, the puck was stolen by Tyler Motte. He broke in and beat Allen on his blocker side to give the Canucks the lead and the eventual win.
While the Blues were able to stick to their game at time, the Canucks’ ability to push through and get the win truly shows the young core this team is developing. Their speed, skill, and ability to play physical at times makes them a team you can never count out. The Blues may have sat back a bit and thought with the 3-1 lead they would put them in position to finish the series in six. Now the Blues are stuck in a do-or-die situation. Still, Blues fans know from last year this team’s favorite mode seems to be adversity and they thrive under it.
The question that head coach Craig Berube faces is the same one he has had to think about the last few games: who will be between the pipes? Allen had two good games, but everyone was waiting for a moment where he faltered a bit and the third and fourth goals in Game 5 were a good example. After getting a bit of a break to hopefully get his game back, Jordan Binnington is without a doubt the goalie to go with in Game 6. Doing anything different is sending a message that the Blues have doubts about him being a franchise goaltender. Not to mention Binnington seems to play best when facing elimination going 3-0 last year. If Binnington truly is the franchise goaltender Blues fans have been long asking for, then these next two games will be a big test to prove he is up to the task.