The Blues were happy to be back on home ice last night, notching 5 goals and the win against the New Jersey Devils. Although, it did not start off that great, going down 2-0 barely halfway through the 1st period. Coming out looking flat and over-matched, they seemed to have started where they left off in the last one against the Predators. As bleak as it looked, giving up 8 straight unanswered goals between the last 2 periods in Nashville and the start of last nights game, Tarasenko did what he does. The late 1st period goal seemed to give the team what they needed, as they came out firing in the 2nd. Lehtera getting his 4th of the season just 2:05 into the period, while Vlad and Fabbri added to their point totals this season with assists. Then followed Petro, Yakupov, and an empty netter by Berglund to finish the Blues onslaught. Allen also got stronger as the game proceeded, stopping all 15 shots in the 2nd and 3rd periods after allowing the first two goals on 11 1st period shots. After they began to roll, they seemed to remember this was a home game and after that? Game Over.
The home vs. away with this team has been shocking all season and is something they need to start worrying about and get fixed. It seems like every statistical category is lower on the road than at home, and for the most part, it’s not close. In the +/-, the Blues have only 5 players in the negative, while away games they have 19 in the negative, goals scored on the road this season are 37, compared to 49 at home. Points, Goals, and Assists at home are led by 3 different players, can you guess what the road leaders are? Tarasenko in all 3 categories. Is this a distribution problem? A positioning problem? No matter what kind of problem it is, rest assured, it is a problem that needs to be fixed.
The goaltending has got to be the biggest conundrum. Not one, but both of the goalies have a disheartening split to their stats, with the opposition scoring an average of almost 3 goals more on the road. This has to reflect on the net-minders, of course, but with both goalies struggling we may have to look at the whole team. Both goalies are also letting in more goals on fewer shots and posting SV% in the mid to upper 80’s. This is not going to cut it down the stretch and good teams will continue to exploit the lack of protection they have been given on the road. Everyone expects a team to be better at home than they are on the road, but to be as glaringly bad on the road as this team has been? This is a top 2 or 3 team in the NHL at home and when they leave St. Louis they become, easily, a bottom 3 team in the league, and it has to be worked out. If you are this good at home, your first priority has got to be securing home ice in the playoffs, and that will not happen unless they start winning some games on the road.