The Blues’ penalty kill and power play look neutered as usual tonight so far. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been – the penalty kill only allowed one goal on three Oilers powerplays – but you could still see the struggles happening with a severe lack of communication on Shane Horcroff’s goal – no coverage left Halak’s right side completely exposed and gaping for Horcoff to fire it home.
The frustrating thing is that the penalties that are causing the Blues to be shorthanded are caused by mistakes made out of frustration – all completely avoidable, and SHOULD be avoided considering the penalty kill’s lack of prowess. Matt D’Agostini’s slashing call that led to the goal, Roman Polak’s holding call, and especially T.J. Oshie’s boarding hit on Eric Belanger were all penalties of frustration. Frustration’s understandable in the situation the Blues are in – they’re working to fix a problem and nothing seems to work. But when you’re trying to fix something that goes wrong, a good way to do so is to not have that thing go wrong.
Halak has stopped four of five shots so far, with absolutely no chance to stop the one goal allowed. All eyes are on him – he has had 18 days of rest, and it is assumed that there’s some rust on the hinges there.