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For the third time this season, the Blues completely threw away a three goal lead on home ice. And in the third period. What is it with the Blues mental meltdowns in the final twenty minutes? Andy Murray failed to solve the problem – let’s hope Davis Payne finds the answer. Payne is running out of time to do it though as, with only securing one point last night, the Blues are falling further behind in the standings.
The Blues started well – hustling and playing hard. They had a good first period with the shot count tied at 6 each and the teams went in with a tied 0-0 scoreline. The second period was just as even – the only difference being that, despite the Ducks outshooting them 11-10, the Blues managed to score two goals. Andy McDonald picked up his 16th goal of the season with a slapshot at the beginning of the period and BJ Crombeen got his 4th of the season at the 14 minute mark.
When TJ Oshie scored three minutes into the third period, Blues fans can be forgiven for breathing a bit easier. However, a mistake by Barret Jackman a couple of minutes later, led to Scott Niedermeyer bringing the Ducks back into the game by scoring past Chris Mason. From that moment on, it was all Ducks. The Blues retreated and, instead of taking the game to the Ducks and going on the offensive, they sat back and let the Ducks walk all over them. The Blues stopped doing what had been so successful in the first two periods – initiating offense – and instead just reacted to what the Ducks were doing. Bobby Ryan scored two and tied the game with 30 seconds remaining. The Blues were outshot 17-3 in the final period. Poor Chris Mason must have wondered when the bombardment would stop.
With no score in overtime, the game went to a shootout – finally being decided in round 7 when James Wisniewski scored to give the game to the Ducks. It should never have got to that stage. The Blues are not going to advance unless they learn how to close out games. They have no killer instinct – and if the opposing team scores on them, they go into meltdown mode. Just take a look at the shot count from last night – the Blues were outshot 37-21 yet it was pretty even up until the final period. That doesn’t tell the whole story – the Ducks also missed with 19 shots and had 17 more blocked. Maybe other teams can afford to sit back once they go three goals up – the Blues quite plainly cannot.
Anyway – your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has the recap, highlights and interviews with Keith Tkachuk, Chris Mason and Davis Payne.
- St Louis Game Time Game Day Thread – if you thought the Blues imploded…just check out the reactions on here.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues let the Ducks get away – with comments from Andy McDonald, Davis Payne, Chris Mason and TJ Oshie.
Things aren’t ALL depressing though – the Blues have a new tv commercial. Check it out on the Blues site