Blues-Predators: St. Louis Wins Big in Opener, Power Play Dominates

Joey ColemanContributor IOctober 10, 2008

The St. Louis Blues come into the season young and still rebuilding, with many people saying they are still a year or two away from being something in the league.

After tonight's performance, though, you've got to step back and say, "Really?"

The Nashville Predators came into St. Louis tonight, and jumped out to an early lead, with Ryan Suter scoring from Scott Nichols and Jordan Tootoo just two minutes in. The first ten minutes were dominated by the Predators, but the Blues coaches seem to think it was the nerves on the part of their boys.

With around seven minutes left in the period, Keith Tkachuk snapped a one-timer from Paul Kariya on the power play to tie the game up. Thirty-three seconds later, David Perron found Barrett Jackman in the slot, and Jackman buried the puck for a 2-1 lead. 

The second period was dominated by the Blues' special teams. Brad Boyes showed early flashes of last year's form, putting one past Nashville's Dan Ellis on the power play. Joel Ward put a goal in for the Predators, and it started to look like the Preds might have a chance—but five minutes later Keith Tkachuk tapped in his second power-play goal on the night, off a beautiful pass from David Perron behind the net.

With three minutes left in the second period, David Backes scored a power-play goal, when a slap shot from Lee Stempniak tipped off Backes' foot and into the net.

Third period was dominated by the checking lines and the goalies. Both teams were running out four lines and playing solid defense, and there wasn't much action.

The Blues went four for six on the power play. Andy Murray looked like a genius, as earlier in the preseason he experimented with five forwards on the power play to add some scoring. He went with that same strategy tonight and it worked to perfection with some good passing and great pucking moving. 

If this is any of indication of how the year could turn out for St. Louis, all of us Blues fans have a lot to look foward to.