Game 1 in the books and the Blues are on pace for a 56-0 record (I know…I’ll calm down now) but fans should be optimistic after the performance we saw last night against “the juggernaut” they call Colorado. The excitement at an all time high, let’s get into my “Ferrario Five” from the first victory of the season.
WELCOME BACK BINNINGTON DOUBTERS
Look, I understand the skepticism of so many on Jordan Binnington regaining his Cup performance form but for the people that placed him as the 13th best goalie in the NHL, right now, might have had a rude awakening last night. Now, don’t hit me with the “it’s the first game of the season Ferrario!”. I get it, there’s plenty more time for things to go south but from what I have seen in practice during camp and what carried over into last night. Binnington is on his game. He was positioned at the top of the crease, his rebound control was as good as its been and you could see some fire in his play. Binnington wasn’t peppered with “high-danger” scoring chances, but what he saw he swallowed up.
CRAIG BERUBE IS A GENIUS
Does anyone need to question this right now? Last night just prove the already obvious, Berube is one of the best when it comes to line-up adjustments. The Blues found out yesterday, after the morning skate, Hoffman would be unavailable due to work visa issues. What does Berube do? He alters the line-up to what he feels will work the best with Sundqvist playing on Thomas’ line & Blais moving to the 4th line. Both lines brought the offense with 7 points in their 4-1 victory. That shows the depth of this team but it also proves that Berube knows how to juggle this line-up and continue to create offense with different names.
THE KIDS ARE (MORE THAN) ALRIGHT
Robert Thomas anyone? Jordan Kyrou? Welcome to the next-big-thing for the Blues, the youth movement. And this doesn’t mean that they have a ton of 35 year-olds who are headed to retirement but they have kids who provide depth and can add scoring punch throughout this line-up. Robert Thomas looked like the elite centermen we all expect him to be. Jordan Kyrou and Zach Sanford were legit scoring threats (backing that up with a goal/assists in their winner). There were 14 shots from your top line against Colorado last night and zero points. All the while, your 2nd-4th lines posted 21 shots and 10 points. That shows me this Blues team has depth.
SOMEONE TRY AND STOP THIS TEAM 5v5
Okay, now the area that impressed me the most last night, even strength play. Colorado scored first last night on the PP but from that moment on in the 1st, it was all St. Louis. 16 to 4 shots after that period and that doesn’t even begin to touch the surface or St. Louis. Corsi and Fenwick rating (puck possession) was off the charts in favor of St. Louis. It felt like the Avalanche were playing catch-up hockey in the 1st and 3rd period and they couldn’t stop the Blues once they started cycling the puck in the offensive zone. Even strength will be a dominant force all season, much like it was for that Cup run.
ALL ABOARD THE TOREY KRUG TRAIN
This might be the Blues enthusiast in me but I LOVED Krug’s game last night for St. Louis. Mind you, he IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE Alex Pietrangelo but he played a heavy game in his own zone matched up against the MacKinnon line. Sure, he got out worked a bit but he made up for it with his physical play (pulling Landeskog to the ice post-whistle). Then his offense was impressive. He moved the puck out of the Blues zone and into offense with such ease, it was a breath of fresh air watching that transition.