Offense Back on Track

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Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 4th of the year to get the Blues going in their 2nd win over Colorado.

After losing 5 in a row to the Colorado Avalanche, the St. Louis Blues on Monday night defeated them for the 2nd consecutive game.

With the victory, the Blues now are 1 point over Arizona in the Honda West Division.

The Blues got goals from Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron, Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas. For Tarasenko, it was just his 4th goal of the season after coming back from his shoulder injury. For Schenn, it was his first in 20 games. All goals were by forwards. More importantly, they were by forwards that you expect to see on the scoresheet on any given night.

This was the kind of game the Blues need more of as they power down the stretch toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Timely goal scoring, solid defense and stony goaltending.

It’s great to see Tarasenko get on the board. His goal came in the first period; he was set up in front of the crease and when the puck landed near him, he whiffed at first but made contact on his 2nd shot and put it in the net. We need to see more of this from him – the willingness to play near the goal and get the “dirty” goals. He’s a sniper that can score from yards away but he can also help by causing chaos near the goalie.

It was also long past time for Thomas to score. Although he dealt with an injury for several games, he just has 2 goals now in 23 games played. He was and is being counted on to be a significant contributor to the Blues top 9 forwards. It was hoped he’d take a big step forward in his development as a scorer. So far that has not come to fruition.

The victory was even more impressive considering the Blues were without 2 of their top 6 defensemen. Parayko and Dunn were ruled out before the game, both sustaining injuries during the previous game. Steven Santini debuted with the Blues. Not a rookie, Santini previously played with the New Jersey Devils and Nashville Predators. He signed a 2-way deal with the Blues last offseason. He played in 39 games for the Devils in 2018-19, with 4 points. He could get an extended look, depending on the length of time that injuries hold out Parayko and Dunn.

The Blues are pretty healthy now, forward-wise. But they need Parayko, as he’s a big-bodied, top pairing guy that’s hard to replace.

The Blues will now turn their attention to the Minnesota Wild for the next 3 games. Every game, every point is crucial now for the Blues, fighting for a place in the playoffs.

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