Blues Struggles Continue

By Nicholas Jacquin, Sports Writer

After opening the season with three consecutive wins, the St. Louis Blues have shown some weaknesses over the past three weeks.  It has been a rough stretch for the team that reached the Western Conference Finals just a few months ago.  One main weakness has been focused on the offense and their inability to score multiple goals consistently.

Source: http://avalanche.ice.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=64882

Source: http://avalanche.ice.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=64882

St. Louis faced off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.  Just eight days after Columbus’ 10-0 victory over the Montreal Canadians, it appeared they were about to do it again.

The Blue Jackets opened up the scoring just over two minutes into the game on a goal from Sam Gagner to make it 1-0.  St. Louis was able to tie the game at one on a power-play goal by defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk at 6:35.  

However, Columbus quickly took the lead with Nick Foligno recording his sixth goal of the season just nine seconds later to make it 2-1.  They would not look back from there and quickly put the game out of reach.  Columbus added another goal before the end of the first period to make it 3-1 heading into the intermission.

The second period did not go any smoother for the Blues as they surrendered two more goals within the first six minutes of the period, making it 5-1.  Blues starting goalie, Jake Allen, was pulled as a result after just recording just eight saves on the night.  

Rookie defenseman Markus Nutivaara scored his first NHL goal at 10:52 to add to the Blue Jackets’ lead.  William Karlsson would make later make it 7-1, before Robby Fabbri was able to score for the Blues at 15:56.  The score would remain 7-2 heading into the second intermission and any hope of a comeback for St. Louis was eliminated.

The third period was the best period the Blues had on the night as they were able to get a quick goal from Vladimir Tarasenko, his sixth of the season, just 21 seconds into the period.  Just two minutes later, it was Columbus scoring once again.  This time the goal by Zach Werenski made the score even more ugly at 8-3.  

Fabbri recorded his second goal of the night and third of the season with just under fourteen minutes remaining in the game.  The goal made the score 8-4, which turned out to be the final score on another disappointing night for the Blues.  

However, there were some positives to take away from the dismal performance.  The Blues scored all of their goals on the power play, something that has been lacking in the past couple weeks.  The ability to score on the power play against the top penalty-killing unit is something St. Louis can take away from this game.