Blues barely avoid being shut out on opening night, fall 5-1 to Jets

The Blues had 42 shots on goal in their season opener Thursday night at Enterprise Center but lost 5-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. (USA Today Sports) 

By Rob Rains

One of the updates the Blues were excited to unveil at newly named Enterprise Center during the season opener on Thursday night was a new original song played after a goal by the home team.

Somebody apparently forgot to tell the Blues they had to score before they could play the song.

The Blues were nearly shut out on opening night for the first time in franchise history, falling behind the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 before they finally scored their first goal of the season with 5:50 left to play. By the time Vince Dunn scored, and the song made its debut, a good portion of the sold-out crowd had left.

The Blues trailed only 1-0 after two periods on a power-play goal but saw the Jets score three times in a span of 1 minute, 44 seconds early in the third period to break the game open, the first goal coming when the Blues were on a power play.

“I’ve got to make at least one of those saves to keep us in the game at least and give us a chance,” said goalie Jake Allen. “The game was going well, we were right there, and we just let it slip. We wanted to start on the right foot. It was tough to see us finish that way.”

What the Blues players and coach Mike Yeo discussed most after the game was the team’s failure to capitalize on their scoring chances. They had 42 shots on goal but were 0-of-4 on the power play. They also had 16 shots which missed the net and 11 which were blocked.

“There were a number of points through the course of the game where we could have done things better with a better mindset than we did which could have served us well,” said coach Mike Yeo.

“One thing we have to get on top of this year is that at the end of the night we can’t just say we had some chances. We have to find a way to put the puck in the net. When we get those opportunities we have to stop missing the net. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out you’re not going to score if you miss the net.”

The four third-period goals for the Jets came in a period when they had eight shots on goal.

“It’s a breakdown that turns into another breakdown that turns into another breakdown,” Yeo said. “That can’t happen. At a point where we needed to keep pushing and find another level to our game we took a step back.”

The fact that they lost in such a manner on opening night was not lost on Yeo, but he also did not want to put too much emphasis on the first game of the season.

“Too many missed opportunities in the offensive zone because we are trying to make the extra play in the neutral zone or coming out of our zone,” Yeo said. “That’s a recipe for losing hockey games.

“It’s an emotional game. We didn’t get off to a good start and all of sudden it fell apart on us. There was some good in the game but not enough good to win the game. Let’s just respond and bounce back, that’s what winning hockey teams do.

“It’s the first game. I didn’t think we were going to go 82-0. But that said, there should be enough pride in the room to be sure that we look at what we didn’t do properly, learn from it and come back with a really strong effort next game.”

NOTES: Vladimir Tarasenko led the Blues with six shots on goal … Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou made their NHL debuts. Kyrou finished with four shots on goal and Thomas two … The 42 shots were the most the Blues record in a season opener since they had 43 in 2001 at Chicago. It was their most in an opener at home since 1980 .. The Blues, who have three consecutive home games to begin the season, will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

About stlsportspage 2458 Articles
For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.

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