Less than two minutes after Burrows’ opening goal, T.J. Oshie responded with the first of two tallies to give the Blues a lead the home team would maintain for the remainder of the contest.
Alain Vigneault shuffled the lines with early success but was unable to keep the deck intact without ace Alex Burrows for the latter half of the hockey game. Burrows put the puck on net and let Chris Stewart do the rest after the Blues’ forward swatted the puck into his own net behind Brian Elliot in an attempt to clear the crease resulting in Vancouver’s opening goal.
Temporary linemate Ryan Kesler was initially credited with the goal but would have to settle for his lone (deserved) power play tally seconds into the third period after he tapped in the rebound from a Dan Hamhuis point shot.
While the road team was able to stay within a goal of St. Louis for the entirety of the game there was never a point the Canucks could be described as the better of the two teams on the ice.
Strings of bad passes, missed defensive assignments and blown scoring opportunities haunted Vancouver all night, to the point that even David Booth had reached his limit, fighting Scott Nichol early in the third period.
Friday’s game was another troubling 5-on-5 performance for the Canucks, adding another few minuses to the stat columns of far too many struggling skaters.
After finishing last season as the NHL’s second overall even strength team, Vancouver’s skaters have been victimized consistently this season just as they were Friday by the Blues.
Jannik Hansen, Kevin Bieksa, Keith Ballard, David Booth and Manny Malhotra are all among the eleven worst skaters in the NHL according to +/- rating and must turn around their game at even strength moving forward in order for the Canucks to be successful this season.
It should come as no surprise that the league leaders at even strength last season were the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.