Blues Salvage Point, Receive Positive News on #10/#57
After falling in a 3-0 hole against Detroit, it looked as if things on the ice were going about as well as the early morning rush hour in St. Louis - disastrous. However, the Blues stormed back to send the game to overtime before ultimately falling. The Blues also revealed some positive information in regards to the recovery of both Andy McDonald and David Perron.
But before getting to the news on #10 and #57, let's take a look at the team's OT loss. For starters, any point earned in the standings is a positive. Any game where the Blues overcome a 3-0 hole to send the game to OT is a positive. TJ Oshie scoring his first goal since returning is an enormous positive.
Unfortunately, there's also the negatives.
Countless times this season the Blues have demonstrated their inability to skate a hard 60 minutes and tonight was no different. Usually we see the team come out strong before fading, but tonight they didn't show up until midway through the second period. Thankfully, they managed to squeak out a point, but one has to wonder what this team might look like if they ever turned in a consistent effort across the full 60 minutes.
Jaroslav Halak had what might be the team's best save this season, sliding over to block what would have been Detroit's fourth goal as the final seconds of the third period ticked down. Truly a remarkable display to keep the Blues in the game. However, the final stats still have Halak allowing four goals against a rival squad - a number that will likely go overlooked as the attention is focused on his brilliant save at the end of the game.
Perhaps his statistics in January are the most telling:
Jan. 2 - four goals allowed Jan. 6 - four goals allowed Jan. 8 - two goals allowed Jan. 10 - four goals allowed Jan 13. - one goal allowed Jan. 15 - four goals allowed Jan. 18 - one goal allowed Jan. 20 - four goals allowed
For those keeping score at home, that's five games this month where Halak has allowed four goals and just three where he has allowed fewer than four goals.
In his last eight starts, the Blues have only walked away with six of a possible 16 points.
Of course, we can't pin all the losses on Halak, but it is important to be aware that he really hasn't been too spectacular between the pipes of late - excluding his moments of brilliance. This doesn't have much offense as is, but allowing four goals in a contest really puts them at an extreme disadvantage as the scoring just hasn't been easy to come by.
Recently I wrote a post on here about the need for Ty Conklin to improve and I think the numbers above show that Halak needs to improve as well.
During the telecast, Doug Armstrong revealed some very interesting information about both Andy McDonald and David Perron. Both are currently attempting a comeback from concussions and both appear to be making strides in the right direction.
Each skater has passed the preliminary test the NHL requires a player must pass following a concussion, which is certainly big news for both guys as they each have missed a large chunk of time.
McDonald is a bit further along and has even skated for two days already. Meanwhile, Perron has begun some light exercises.
Hopefully neither suffer any setbacks as this team could desperately use some offense - that is, some offense that can't be stolen by another team through the waiver system.