MONTREAL — The Blues arrived on the Bell Middle on Saturday evening with six injured reserves, and a seventh — fullback Nick Leddy — resulting from an upper-body harm.
Earlier than the primary interval ended, they had been minus one other veteran defender in Robert Portuzzo with a decrease physique harm, leaving them with solely 5 gamers within the final 48 minutes of play in Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Nico Mikkola, Callie Rosen and others. Name Stephen Santini.
After the sport there have been ice packs on a number of the gamers – overlaying palms, ankles, you identify it. And did we point out the Blues had a recreation Sunday towards mid-division rival Minnesota?
However keep away from the violin. It is hockey. that occurs.
“Clearly it isn’t a super state of affairs, however we have all been via it earlier than,” stated Volk, who performed his 800th NHL recreation on Saturday — 25 minutes and 54 seconds into the sport. “It is one thing that occurs now and again. You must discover methods to play an excellent recreation of hockey.
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“Clearly the sport was there for us tonight, we did not play nicely sufficient, we did not defend nicely sufficient to get the end result we would have liked.”
And that is the place the Blues kick themselves after shedding 5-4 to a Montreal Canadiens workforce who had been 0-6-1 of their earlier seven video games. If the Blues stole two factors Thursday in New Jersey because of goaltending by Jordan Pennington and an opportunistic offense that scored 5 occasions on a season-low 19 photographs. . Properly, they let two factors slip away on Saturday.
They’ve led 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 at numerous factors within the competitors. However the Canadiens scored three targets within the third interval – the nineteenth time this has occurred to an opposing workforce towards the Blues in 40 video games. Josh Anderson’s eleventh purpose of the season in an in depth recreation broke the 4-4 tie.
“We get up 4-3, you may take that any day,” Volk stated. “Now we have to close it down. I feel there have been some errors that had been made that type of gave them the probabilities they’d. They had been capable of take benefit.
“Like I stated, we did not play a adequate defensive recreation to win. And that is unacceptable, particularly with a 4-3 lead going into the third interval.”
As is commonly the case in these sorts of blues video games, it wasn’t only one factor. This is the rundown:
• With the Blues main 1-0 on Brandon Saad’s fourth purpose in three video games, Jake Neighbors slipped and fell on the ice whereas overlaying Joel Armia in Montreal’s assault zone. That left Armia a transparent path to the web and buried one to make it a 1-1 match.
• On Montreal’s second purpose, the Blues had been 30 seconds away from hitting a four-minute penalty towards Ivan Barbashev when Kirby Sprint discovered some open ice within the gap and, sure, buried it to make it a 2-2 recreation.
• On purpose #3, Jordan Pennington fouled a clearing try behind the web and the ultimate rating was a Cole Coffield purpose 36 seconds into the third interval for a 3-2 Canadiens lead.
“It is easy, defensive stuff,” stated coach Craig Berube. “Now we have to be higher with the goalkeeper’s deal with. Then we give the ball again to her, we give it up once more and we don’t have protection in entrance of our web. You may’t go away Caufield alone.”
Brayden Sheene misplaced the ball behind the web, then Caufield was not coated up entrance.
• Objective No. 4 got here when two gamers (Nico Mikkola and Jordan Cairo) moved in the direction of Evgeny Dadonov behind the web. That left Jake Evans open up entrance and Armia was there to wash up a rebound on an Evans shot to make it 4-4 with 13:40 to play.
• Lastly, Mikkola could not make a free puck within the impartial zone. It was recovered by Montreal for an impromptu 2-on-1. Santini slid in to dam a Jonathan Drouin move. The ball bounced again to Drouin, who shot after which Anderson spun for the rebound.
Now, take a couple of seconds—or extra for those who really feel prefer it—to course of all of it. And for those who’re a Berube, attempt to maintain your head from exploding.
“We simply should be higher at sure conditions and clear that up,” Berubi stated. “We’re scoring sufficient targets. On the opposite aspect of that, we have now to guard our web higher than we have now been.”
In the event you rely Shane’s penalty winner Tuesday in Toronto, the Blues have scored 15 targets within the three video games since Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko had been injured. Together with Saad’s purpose, they obtained a strong purpose from Pavel Bukhnevich and two fourth-line targets (Nikita Alexandrov and Alexei Turchenko) towards the Canadians.
The issue is, they gave up 13 targets in these three competitions.
Then, there have been eight penalty kicks taken by the Blues over 10 minutes into the second half. Most vital was that double strike towards Barbashev, which led to Dach’s purpose.
“I feel there is a rule that if a man appears to be like like he is harm, they’ll name 4 minutes in and test it out,” Volk stated. “They will have to attend and see — if the man is not contaminated, I do not assume they’ll name that up.”
He then added with a contact of sarcasm, “The man (Dutch) took off his gloves whereas holding his face, so I (the referee) thinks that is an harm.”
With 2:44 to play within the second, Alexandrov was whistled for a excessive stick on an odd-looking play. For instance, it was a late name. Aleksandrov, alternatively, had held his stick as much as shoulder size as he skated and had not seen Drouin, who took the penalty kick.
“I used to be simply getting up on the boards and I used to be trying behind me,” Alexandrov stated. “I did not even see that man, and I feel my stick obtained caught in his face space. I did not see a hand raised from the referee. All of the sudden I used to be taken into the penalty space.
“They defined it to me, and yeah, I feel there is a new rule now.”
Now we transfer to Minnesota.