Blue Jackets At Blues: Blues Drop Game 5-2, Still Clinch Central Division Title

The Blue Jackets are simply playing out the season, but that doesn't mean that they haven't been playing tough. AHL call-up Allen York has done well in his temporary starting goaltender role.

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Blue Jackets At Blues Final Score: Blues Lose 5-2, Still Clinch Division Title

For the first time in 12 years, the Blues are Central Division Champions. Unfortunately, it was done with a bit of a buzzkill in a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Bad officiating socked the Blues big time —two Columbus powerplay goals on eight chances didn’t help their cause. I’m never one to complain about refs and the like, but tonight was atrocious. The Blues didn’t need their help losing this game, but the officials did them a pretty big solid regardless.

Luckily for the Blues and their lackluster effort tonight, they were rewarded with the Chicago Blackhawks managing to fight off the Nashville Predators hard fought comeback bid to win 5-4. With the win, the Blues clinched their eighth division title in team history. They might slip from the first in the West with a Vancouver win, but there are still three games left in the season, the Blues have home ice advantage in the playoffs, and they’ll have a nice, pretty new banner come opening night next season. It’s easy to get down with a game like tonight, but you have to focus on the big picture here — and the big picture is one of the most successful seasons in franchise history.

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Blue Jackets At Blues Second Period Score: Blues Can't Catch Breaks, Down 3-2

A late period post shot from Alex Pietrangelo that clearly did not go in delayed the game for several minutes and gave the fans false hope that the Blues could only be down by one goal. Alas, the second period did not go the Blues’ way, much like the first. They don’t look sharp and they don’t look like they have much oomph (save for Scott Nichol going after Jared Boll in a massive size disparity fight). Thankfully, David Perron avenged Pietrangelo’s post shot to actually keep the Blues within striking distance.

RJ Umberger scored his second goal of the game thanks to the fact that Jaroslav Halak was pinned to the ice with a few Blue Jackets on him. Apparently this is a legal play.

Pietrangelo’s post (and premature horn) were made just an afterthought by David Perron, his 19th of the year. Pietrangelo got his 38th assist of the season on this nifty move:

The Blues are up 26-19 on shots. They need to tighten up this last period to get that division title. The Blackhawks are currently up on the Nashville Predators 4-2, so they’re actually helping the Blues out here a bit. Now the Blues need to help themselves.

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Blue Jackets At Blues: Columbus Exploits Errors to Take 2-1 Lead

It doesn’t matter if you’re playing the New York Rangers or the Columbus Blue Jackets — you have to pay attention. This is the NHL, and even the least likely goal scorer on a bad team can still get the puck into the net. Jared Boll tonight was the example of that:

It wasn’t even on purpose, and was directed by Boll’s skate probably on accident (not kicked in, however), but that’s not the point. The puck still went into the net, and the goal still counted.

David Backes was unhappy, and we all know how Backes gets when he’s unhappy. He scored 17 seconds later on an easy tap in. He faked Columbus goalie Allen York into thinking he was going to re-direct Kevin Shattenkirk’s shot. He didn’t, and put the puck into the net with York out of position:

Unfortunately, Chris Stewart’s season hasn’t been getting better. His silly turnover at the blue line led to this R.J. Umberger breakaway and goal:

Stewart is already on the fourth line, with guys like Ryan Reaves in the pressbox. If he continues this sort of plays, Reaves’ll be in the next game, and Stewie’ll be sampling the press box popcorn and pretzels.

The Blues’re outshooting the Blue Jackets 12-5, but if they continue playing like this, the shot count won’t help one bit.

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Blue Jackets At Blues: One Point Is All St. Louis Needs For The Division Banner

The Blue Jackets are simply playing out the season, but that doesn't mean that they haven't been playing tough. AHL call-up Allen York has done well in his temporary starting goaltender role.

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