The St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings, top October contenders in the NHL's Western Conference, met in a wonderfully timed early-season showdown Wednesday night. Unfortunately for Blues fans, the result was their fifth consecutive loss and another shaky outing from Jaroslav Halak, who managed to own goal himself in the course of allowing seven goals on 31 shots.
After holding a 3-3 tie heading into the third period, the Blues allowed four goals in the third. Brad Lee of St. Louis Game Time suggests that Halak "can't do it alone against a superior team", with the Blues' short-handed defense unable to keep pace with the best clubs in the Western Conference.
The Blues' bright spots, such as they were, included three more points from a streaking Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes's third goal in three games. Boyes, who netted 43 goals in 2007-2008, his first full season with the Blues, had managed just one in the first 14 games of 2010-11. Dan Cleary scored two goals for the Red Wings.