The 4-1 win last Thursday over the New York Rangers looks like a high scoring fluke, as the Blues have had issues putting the puck in the net recently.
The Blues haven't exactly been scoring machines under coach Ken Hitchcock. With the tight defense and excellent goaltending, they haven't had to be - but still, it leaves a minute margin of error when you only score one or two goals in a night. Last Saturday one goal was enough to defeat the San Jose Sharks, but last night it wasn't enough against the Nashville Predators. The Blues wasted an excellent performance from Jaroslav Halak to lose in a shootout 2-1. T. J. Oshie, who has ten goals in the season scored the only Blues goal on 40 shots with around three and a half minutes left in the third period. Halak was visibly frustrated leaving the ice last night, and it wasn't unwarranted. When a team shoots that much, you have to have more than one shot get by the opposition's goaltender. Said Oshie on the team's struggles last night:
"I think one thing we have to do is get more traffic in front of their goaltender. It's tough when you get that many shots on the goaltender and he wins the game for the other team."
Heaven knows the Blues don't lack for big bodies. Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart - who was again unnoticeable on the ice yesterday - need to use their size effectively around the net, either to screen or create chances. Blue Jackets backup goaltender Curtis Sanford is someone that is needed against - he's been playing exceedingly well in relief of an injured Steve Mason, and has solid stats this season. He did lose the last time he faced the Blues, but even then he allowed only two goals.
Jaroslav Halak should be back in net for the Blues tonight. Hopefully the team will provide him some goal support. When you have three guys with ten goals so far this season, you'd expect a few more here and there. Defense might win you games, but it doesn't win many when you can't back that defense up. The Blues've only lost three games at home in regulation this season, and they've lost to Columbus just once in regulation at home in the last four years of play. I would say that the deck is stacked in their favor, but if they don't get more aggressive with the goaltender, they could easily drop a needed two points.