The special teams that the Blues needed to work on in order to play well against the Dallas Stars didn’t do their job last night. In fact, the powerplay, which went 0-for-5, was so sloppy that it allowed a shorthanded goal by Loui Eriksson. The penalty kill looked fairly good, allowing one goal on five Dallas attempts, but the team was still sluggish out of the gate.
The Blues tried to come back in it with goals from Matt D’Agostini and Chris Stewart in the second and third period respectively, but when you’re slow out of the gate and the goaltender that you’re facing is having a hot streak, you’re going to have to amp up your game – not spend a period trying to find your game. Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 35 shots on goal, which is impressive.
What was not impressive was the performance of Jaroslav Halak, who hasn’t regained the form that he had in Montreal – the form that caused the Blues to make what was then a blockbuster trade to acquire him. All three goals were amazingly stoppable. All three pucks went in between Halak’s legs, which means he needs to drop and close them significantly quicker. He’s been slow and more than a bit seemingly “out of it” this season thus far, and while the Blues’ performance last night certainly wasn’t amazing, and the defense did hang him out to dry on the second goal, the game was immensely winnable had Halak dropped faster.
The Blues continue their four game road trip Saturday night at 9 against the San Jose Sharks.