Rookie shared the lead in shots on goal Sunday with four.
He was replaced in Sunday's game by forward Magnus Paajarvi.
Short-handed team was flat as eight-day road trip ends on a sour note.
Sami Vatanen scored two power-play goals to lead Anaheim.
Blues center was injured in the first minute of Saturday's win over Arizona.
Another game, another third period disappointment.
After going up 2-0 on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, the Blues squabbled yet another third period lead to lose in overtime.
Both goalies played brilliant as Marty Turco made 32 saves, while Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves on the night.
You could dispute that the best save for Halak came about halfway through the first, but why would you? After Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was shoved into Halak by Blackhawks forward Fernando Pisani, the two skaters fell in the crease. Sprawled on his knees with traffic everywhere around him, Halak grabbed a shot from midair after the puck found its way to Duncan Keith at the point, who one-timed a shot right on net. Halak was able to cover up to get the whistle. This play made Blues fans realize why even the Oilers don’t want Pisani anymore.
Two big wins. One was an exciting overtime win and the other was a boat race in favor of the Blues. So currently sitting on the good side of the Central Division standings, the Blues look confident heading into game three of the 82-game grind. Can they keep this play up or is this just a fluke?
Allow some negativity for a moment. Game one was a sloppy and choppy game that saw the Blues get the last lucky bounce when it mattered. The Flyers were without their all-star defenseman, Chris Pronger, and also featured the always-streaky goaltender, Brian Boucher. Game two was against the Anaheim Ducks, who showcase a softer defense than that other side of Sears we keep hearing about. The Ducks’ offense has been non-existent as well, shooting just 14 shots at Halak and averaging 24.0 shots per game, currently placing them 29th in the league.
Also, remember how the Blues started the season in Stockholm last season and shut down their rival Detroit Red Wings in the first two games of the season? They followed it up with a flop at home against the Thrashers 4-2, and then ended with the ninth best record in the Western Conference, which is not good enough to make the playoffs.
The Blues really have not changed much from last season. They go into the season with the addition of not having Paul Kariya, and they also have a new face in goal. With the obvious exception of Keith Tkachuk retiring from the game, the Blues almost have the same makeup. A plus for this team could be that the youth of the roster no longer has that veteran presence up front to rely on for goal-scoring depth and overall leadership. Why is this a good thing? It forces the young guys to be in the open and show what they can do when they are counted on as the leaders of the squad. The defense comes in with five skaters returning from last season, along with youngsters Tyson Strachan and Alex Pietrangelo in the mix. This team has the ability to be in playoff contention, but they will need to work together and be a strong team together. They don’t have that one guy to rely on for goals or to be a shut-down defenseman.
The off-season is coming to an end. We watched that team we love to hate skate around with the Stanley Cup too many times on the NHL Network, and we have even watched Ben Bishop dominate the pre-season. So now it’s time to look ahead to the season that will be. Who is going to bring home the President’s Trophy? Who will be bringing it up the rear? Hard to say even before the season starts, but let’s take a crack at it anyway, shall we?
30. Edmonton Oilers
Even if Andrew Cogliano plays like he actually belongs in the NHL this season, the Oilers still have a terrible goaltending situation and a questionable defense. Tom Renney doesn’t make me want to invest in the Oilers either.
Chances are that if you are checking out LetsGoBlues.com, you are a hockey fan. An even better chance is that you are probably a Blues fan. With both of these being pretty good probabilities, I’ll venture to guess you have taken a crack or two at fantasy hockey as well. Taking all of this into consideration, I figure that you may want to consider drafting Blues players to start the 2010-11 NHL season. It may be a wise idea to consider who is a smart pickup and who will hinder your team from winning. So here is the skinny on the Blues’ roster and who will and will not be smart draft picks in the average-ten team league.
1. David Perron – Left Wing
Why? “DP” is coming off of a career-year with 20 goals scored, and his point production has been steady in his first three NHL seasons. Not only that, but Perron loves to have the puck on his stick and loves to get it to the net, causing many rebounds that could result in goals scored by his teammates. These are the reasons for his 2-year, $4.3 million contract extension that he received this summer. He won’t get any penalty minutes for your team, but this guy will produce offensively. Especially if you are in a league with hockey fans from other cities, this guy may get overlooked. Mark my words; he will be a 30+ goal scorer by season’s end.
Projected Draft Round: 3-4
2. Jaroslav Halak - Goaltender
Why? Easy call, right? Wrong. More so than ever, teams are very happy with their goaltending to start the season. Even Philadelphia sits comfortable with Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher, two guys that have seen the bench more than Cam Janssen. There is plenty of goaltending talent to choose from this year, so Halak may slip through the first couple of rounds but don’t let him drop too far. His .923 save percentage in last year’s playoffs was tops in the league, but you don’t need numbers to see that this guy has the potential to have the words “franchise goaltender” slapped on his helmet.