St. Louis Blues Prevail Despite Poor Third Period
The St. Louis Blues won tonight 3-2 over the Boston Bruins despite not being able to defend a 2-0 lead or keep the puck away from their own net in the third period. They were thoroughly outplayed and outshot, and it was only a matter of time before they blew their lead.
The Blues have not been as good at wrapping up third period leads of late, much to the chagrin of coach Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock is one of those coaches who does not let these type of things slide just because St. Louis won the game.
It is the mark of a winning organization that they do not dwell on the particular outcome of a game, but they recognize the faults that they showed during the course of that game. In the third period, St. Louis had a concerning lack of energy that is a direct result of the kind of third-period collapses that have become more common for them.
For the casual observer, it may seem that I am overreacting. However, I think that these things are important for a Stanley Cup contender such as the Blues to consider. If they were just happy with getting into the playoffs, I would lay off, but the Blues need to find an answer to the couple of minutes per game when their opponents sustain pressure.
Tonight, they were bailed out by T.J. Oshie, which may not happen every night (though Oshie seems to be a consistent scorer in clutch situations). They need to dig deep and look inside themselves as a team to find a solution to this issue.