Sunday, April 17, 2022

Blues well-oiled offensive machine keeps rolling, setting records

Seven-goal second is franchise record in 8-3 bludgeoning of Nashville Predators; 
Schenn, Kyrou, Rosen each score twice to help Blues to ninth straight win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Let's just cut to the chase: the Blues are on a wagon.

An absolute wagon.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Calle Rosen (right) is all smiles and celebrates with
teammates Vladimir Tarasenko (middle) and Robert Thomas Sunday.

Even coach Craig Berube had to chuckle a bit to begin his postgame interview Sunday evening inside Bridgestone Arena.

It's been an offense that's been firing on all cylinders for a good while now, but in record-setting fashion, the Blues put up seven goals in the second period and won their ninth in a row and extending their point streak to 12 games in an 8-3 rout of the Nashville Predators.

To call the second period a clinic would be understating what the Blues (46-20-10) did.

They started the game trailing, and the Predators (43-28-5), desperate for points in the wildcard race in the Western Conference, were on their toes after honoring original Blue and Predators broadcaster Terry Crisp, who is retiring.

The Blues didn't care. This offense is a juggernaut right now.

When Brayden Schenn scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 17:41 to tie it, away they went.

"I thought that even the first period – second half of the first period – I thought set the tone," Berube said.

Did it ever.

The Blues broke their record of six goals in a period established three previous times: Feb. 23, 1991 in a 9-2 home win against the Boston Bruins when they scored six times in the third period; Jan. 18, 1995 at Winnipeg, a 6-2 win scoring six in the first, and Dec. 1, 1984, a 10-5 win at home against the Detroit Red Wings, scoring six times in the first period.

"I think it's just playing the right way," said forward Jordan Kyrou, who scored twice in the period. "When everyone's playing the right way, obviously you get a lot of bounces. Obviously in the second period we got a lot of bounces going our way."

It was more than just bounces. It was relentless pressure, it was puck possession, it was cycling, it was interrupting plays, and making the Predators pay for their mistakes with rush attacks.

"I don’t know. They made a lot of good plays tonight," Berube said. "I thought we cycled the puck well. We competed in the offensive zone really well. ... Had some real good shifts in the o-zone. Just competing down there and making it hard on them.

"And then second period, we just found a way to get to the back of the net."

Including Calle Rosen, playing in his 14th game with the Blues and 34th NHL game, who had two goals and an assist, including his second and third NHL goals.

"It's always fun to score goals," Rosen said. "It's good to get two today, but it's a great second period by us. We were rolling over them and a fun game to play in.

"I think we just weathered the storm there in the first period. In the second period, we just turned on the jets and decided to play a bit more solid hockey and it showed on the scoreboard."

You want more records?

Vladimir Tarasenko, who got the scoring started with one of his patented power moves off the right wall to the net 1:11 into the second that made it 2-1, scored three points in the game (one goal, two assists) to help him break his personal record of 75 points set in 2016-17; he now has 76 points (33 goals, 43 assists) and now has a six-game point streak (eight goals, seven assists) and has scored in five straight games.

Robert Thomas, who had just one assist, extended his NHL personal high 12-game point streak (six goals, 19 assists).

Pavel Buchnevich, who also had one assist, extended his personal NHL career-high point streak to 10 games (six goals, 12 assists)

Schenn has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) the past 12 games, which isn't some sort of record, but the point is being made.

This is a well-oiled offensive machine right now, and just take a look at the scoresheet and you'll find 14 of the Blues' 18 skaters with at least a point.

Sharing the wealth is quite common.

"Yeah for sure, like I said, every line can play, every line can score and do the right things," Kyrou said. "That's obviously huge. It's definitely going to be huge in the playoffs.

"I think we've been building our game really well and that's everyone. Both goalies have been playing great. Defense has been awesome. Obviously our offense has been amazing scoring goals. We're just trying to play the right way and build our game every game."

The Blues are averaging 3.76 goals per game, fourth behind Florida (4.19), Colorado (3.87) and Toronto (3.85), and it isn't even a franchise record for them. The 1980-81 Blues averaged 4.40 goals per game, but it was a different era of hockey.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues (from left to right) Brayden Schenn, Jordan Kyrou and Colton
Parayko celebrate one of a record-setting seven second-period goals.

This is impressive.

They're also outscoring they're opponents 62-32 during their 11-0-1 run, averaging an astounding 5.17 goals per game.

"I'm very happy with the team, the way they’re performing," Berube said. "They’re playing for each other and right now they’re doing a good job. It’s all about the team. They've got to stick with that and we've got to keep pushing. We've got to move on from this game."

Easier said than done, coach, but this is Berube's mantra: focus on the next game and put the previous one -- good or bad -- in the rear view mirror.

The eight goals is the most since the Blues defeated the New Jersey Devils 8-3 on Feb. 12, 2019. That was the seventh game of a franchise record 11-game winning streak that helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup. This one happened in the ninth game of what the Blues hope isn't the end of a winning streak.

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