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Blues' penalty killers got too much ice time

Sunday, 10.03.2010 / 3:00 AM / 2010-2011 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Blues' penalty killers got too much ice time
The Blues' penalty killers were the best in the League, but they were on the ice far too often last season
The Blues' penalty killers were the best in the League, but they were on the ice far too often last season

Advantage Margin: -35
The Blues had 44 fewer power plays last season than they did in 2008-09, while allowing the most opposition power plays (342), even though that number was down from the previous season.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +8
Maybe it's true that practice makes perfect: St. Louis' penalty-killers led the NHL at 86.8 percent despite having to kill more power plays than any other team. They also scored 7 shorthanded goals. The power play was just 20th at 16.9 percent.

Goals by defensemen: 33
Erik Johnson rebounded well from a knee injury that cost him the 2008-09 season by scoring 10 goals and 39 points. Carlo Colaiacovo added 7 goals and 32 points.

Overtime Record
Total: 10-5-5
OT: 3-5 SO: 7-5
The Blues got terrific performances from Brad Boyes (7-for-12, 2 game-deciding goals) and T.J. Oshie (5-for-8, 2 game-deciders), whole Chris Mason allowed only eight goals on 28 attempts.

Times Scored First: 48 Record: 25-17-6
Getting the opening goal of the game wasn't a problem for the Blues, who were fifth in the League at scoring first. But they were tops in the dubious category of losing games when they took that early lead

Best 2009-10 Number: 66
Goals allowed by the Blues in the second period, the fewest in the West and second-best overall. The Blues outscored opponents by nine goals in the second period, but were outscored in the other two.        
Worst 2009-10 Number: 13
Two-goal losses by the Blues, second-most among Western Conference teams. St. Louis allowed 10 empty-net goals, tying the Blues with Colorado for the most in the West.
    
Scheduling
The Blues' best chance to pile up some wins comes in a month-long stretch beginning in early December when they have 12 of 15 games at home -- following an 11-of-16 stretch on the road. Their longest trip is just four games. 
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