The Blues’ defense that was supposed to be tighter this game than they were in Nashville Thursday night look more jet lagged than anything. Failure to maintain the zone and an underestimation of the speed of the Winnipeg Jets has the Blues down by ten shots on goal. Luckily, shots on goal isn’t how the game is decided — the score is. The Blues are up 2-0 after one period.
Chris Mason hasn’t been tested, but he’s allowed two fairly meh goals that some work by the Winnipeg defense could have helped. The first goal came from David Backes crashing the net, and T.J. Oshie with a big hit on Chris Thorburn:
Bonus to Johnny Oduya for his patented “stand stock still” defensive move.
The Blues second goal came from David Perron, with an outstanding pass from Patrik Berglund. Perron flew across the front of the net from out of nowhere to zip the puck past Chris Mason. See if you can tell where he came from:
I don’t think Winnipeg could either.
A reason (other than Jaroslav Halak’s outstanding play) that the Blues are up by two is that they’ve doubled the Jets up on faceoff wins. The Blues’ sizable forwards are making it very difficult for Winnipeg’s centers, especially Jim Slater, to win as many faceoffs as they usually do. Perron’s goal is courtesy of a faceoff loss by Nik Antropov.
The Blues need to up the scoring pressure, limit Winnipeg’s shots, and focus more on getting the puck past Chris Mason. They have 33% shooting accuracy as a team so far this afternoon. Some intensity will go along way to keeping the score in the Blues’ favor.