LATE-NIGHT BLUES: We’ve figured out something that the Blues are really, really good at. The answer? They’re a terror in overtime this season. Their late-night mastery continued Thursday in Edmonton, when the Blues defeated the Oilers 4-3 in a shootout. The contest was deranged, featuring an abundance of bizarreness and chaos, but the Blues found a way to get out of there with two points.

With their latest escape the Blues are now 5-0-1 this season in games determined in overtime. That happens to be tied for the NHL’s third-best showing in overtime affairs this season:

Winnipeg 7-0-1, .938
Vancouver 6-0-1, .929
Tampa Bay 5-0-1, .917
St. Louis 5-0-1, .917
NY Isles 3-0-1, .875
Montreal 6-0-2, .875

WOULDN’T IT BE NICE … If the Blues displayed such loco urgency earlier in the competitions? They have a .400 points percentage in regulation this season, which is tied for 26th in the NHL. The Blues are 9-15-6 in regulation-time hockey; only Anaheim (20), Chicago (17) and San Jose (16) have lost more times than St. Louis in games that don’t last beyond three periods.

BLUES ARE FORTUNATE: Given their 14-15-1 record and and the erratic pattern to their season — the boys go from good to awful and awful to good on a minute-to-minute basis, the Blues are in surprisingly decent shape if you look at the current wild-card accounting in the Western Conference. St. Louis has 29 points, only three behind co-leaders Colorado and Calgary in the race for the No. 2 wild card. Vancouver also has 29 points, right there with the Blues. Your favorite hockey team will have a chance to do something about this during the remaining four games of their road trip, with a skirmish Friday night at Calgary and Monday’s conflict at Vancouver.

HELLO, TARASENKO: Vlad has checked in with four goals in his last seven games including the tying biscuit with 19 seconds left in the third period at Edmonton last evening. But Tarasenko is still lagging behind last season’s pace of 1.6 goals per 60 minutes (all situations.) Going into Friday’s tussle, Tarasenko has a rate of 1.1 goals per 60 minutes in all situations. He’s also stuck at minus 11 on the season in even-strength goal differential.

KYROU, WE SEE YOU: The Blues are 11-6 this season when Jordan Kyrou has at least one point in a game. He probably had his best game of the season in Thursday’s triumph at Edmonton, scoring a goal and assisting on two others. The Blues outscored the Oilers 2-0 and had twice as many shots on goal as the home team with Kyrou on the ice at 5v5. Kyrou made the play of the game by working hard behind the net, snatching the puck from an Oiler, and setting up Tarasenko’s winner. We need to see more of this on a consistent basis.

JUSTIN FAULK, TOREY KRUG. WHAT’S GOING ON?  Last season they formed one of the NHL’s top defensive pairings, as evidenced by the Blues outscoring opponents 48-23 with the tandem on ice at 5-on-5. That’s a fantastic goal share of 67.61 percent, and it ranked third-best in the league among 32 defensemen duos that clocked at least 650 minutes at 5v5. The only two pairings that had a more dominant goal share at 5v5 were Colorado’s Cale Makar and Devon Toews (69.62%) and Washington’s Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen (69%).

Well … that’s changed for Krug and Faulk this season. In 339 minutes and 14 seconds with the pairing in action at 5-on-5, the Blues have been outscored by 10 goals (22-12) for a goal share of 35.29 percent. That ranks 21st among 23 defensive pairings that have logged at least 300 minutes this season at 5v5.

Or look at it this way: in terms of 5v5 goal share, Faulk and Krug were the third best in the NHL last season … and now they are the third-worst in goal share this season.

J. FAULK’S WEIRD SEASON: He’s a good defenseman but isn’t playing up to his usual standards this season. Maybe that has something to do with having to cover for Krug, who seems to be out of place or otherwise lost on the ice in too many instances this season. This is for sure: Faulk isn’t scoring goals.

— Last season Faulk scored 13 goals at 5-on-5, which tied him with Makar for the most by a defenseman. Pretty damn good, eh? This season Faulk has only one goal at 5v5 and got that in the second game on the schedule. That means Faulk has gone 27 consecutive games without a 5-on-5 goal. Through Thursday, 78 NHL defensemen had scored more 5v5 goals than Faulk this season.

— Last season Faulk scored 16 total goals, which ranked fifth among NHL defensemen. This season he has four total goals which is tied for 18th among defensemen. But Faulk scored three of the four goals during the first three games this season; since then he has one goal in 27 games and is minus 11.

WHICH REMINDS ME: As a group the Blues’ defensemen aren’t very good. They’re the weakest part of the team. But according to Spotrac, the Blues rank second in the NHL for most money spent on defensemen this season at $27.11 million. Only Boston ($28.92 million) has invested more than the Blues in defense spending. The St. Louis defensemen are taking up 33.3 percent of the Blues’ salary cap this season – fourth-most in the NHL.

Last season Blues defensemen scored 45 goals and were collectively a plus 93. This season? Their defensemen have scored 12 goals and are collectively minus 25. The only two “plus” defensemen are Calle Rosen (+9) and Niko Mikkola (+5.) And Rosen has scored two of the defense group’s five goals this season at 5-on-5.

Let’s go with a fancy-pants stat. Here’s where each defenseman sits in expected goal-share so far this season at 5v5. The higher the percentage, the better.

Tyler Tucker, 57.6 percent
Calle Rosen, 55.6
Colton Parayko, 47.4
Torey Krug, 47.3
Nick Leddy, 47.29
Justin Faulk, 47.26
Niko Mikkola, 44.03
Robert Bortuzzo, 42.2

JORDAN BINNINGTON’S BOUNCE BACK: The Blues are 2-0-1 in his last three starts and he’s played very well with a .928 save percentage over the three games. But he’s been much better than that .928 would indicate. In the three games at 5v5 Binnington has a .958 save percentage and has stopped 23 of 24 high-danger chances.

TRADE CANDIDATES? Looking ahead to the upcoming trading season and gauging the top 25 players that are most likely to be dealt, the Blues had two guys in the top six. Ryan O’Reilly is at No. 5 and Tarasenko is listed at No. 6.

“Not that I think anything is imminent — we’re only in December — but my sense this week after talking to a few NHL teams is that they expect the Blues to listen on their pending-UFA captain in the new year,” Pierre LeBrun wrote of O’Reilly. “The Blues continue to play inconsistent hockey, and it’s not giving anyone confidence that the season will get back on track. I think the Maple Leafs have talked about O’Reilly internally. Whether that leads to showing interest with the Blues in the new year, we shall see … the Avalanche would make sense. I mean, any contender should have interest in the 2019 NHL playoff MVP.”

Eric Duhatschek wrote this of Tarasenko: “Even in the years when the Blues were a playoff contender, general manager Doug Armstrong wasn’t afraid to make a bold statement. Tarasenko’s original trade request came more than a year ago, but now that his eight-year, $60 million contract is down to its final months and he’s coming off a season in which he was healthy and played 75 games, finding a partner in need of a scoring boost should be far easier. Despite the trade request, he does have a full no-trade clause, though, and that will limit the return.”

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.