FIRST LINE: Helluva win by the Blues. They spotted Tampa Bay an early three-goal lead. They were outshot 19-9 in high-danger scoring chances. And with the game tied 3-3, the Blues had to kill a penalty in the third period and again in overtime. And yet … somehow … they prevailed by surviving until it was time to divvy up the points in a shootout, and Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington took care of the rest. The Blues came away with two points and their second consecutive victory at Enterprise Center. They won Saturday’s game 6-3 after trailing Columbus 1-0. Is there a pattern? Maybe. I’ll explain in the next item…

SECOND LINE: The Blues are tied for first in the NHL this season with eight come-from-behind victories. They are one of only four teams this season to stage a comeback victory after being down by three goals. And when the Blues have trailed in a contest this season, they’ve outscored the other side 19-6 for a massive 76 percent goals-scored share that ranks second in the league. This 12-7-3 team is good, but it has flaws. The Blues are careless with turnovers and often struggle to finish premium scoring chances. But the Blues sure have plenty of heart. They do not succumb without a fight. And with rare exception the Blues are in every game, usually keeping it close even if they aren’t playing well. According to More Hockey Stats, the Blues have trailed by an average of only 13 minutes 10 seconds per game — that’s fourth best in the NHL behind Calgary (6:16), Washington (10:10) and Carolina (13:03.)

THIRD LINE: Coach Craig Berube did the right thing by staying with Binnington after the weird and unlucky start that put the Blues in a 3-0 hole. The loyalty to Binnington sent a good vibe to the rest of the team. “The coaching staff was positive with us, had a good message of just sticking with it and build it up and knowing that there’s a lot of game left,” captain Ryan O’Reilly said. “That’s exactly what we did. I thought everyone did a good job of not being fazed. It’s not what we wanted, but it’s a long game. And we built it back up and some big plays by guys. That’s what happens sometimes. Those are the hands that are dealt to you and you’ve got to find a way to win and tonight we did.”

FOURTH LINE: Binnington stopped the final 24 shots that entered his goal space, then snuffed all three Tampa Bay attempts in the shootout. But generally speaking, he can be better. Among the 30 NHL goaltenders that have played at least 500 minutes this season at five on five, Binnington ranks 16th with a .926 save percentage. And his high-danger save rate at five on five is .844, which ranks 16th. When the Blues are on the penalty kill Binnington has a .873 save percentage that ranks 20th among 29 NHL goalies that have logged at least 50 minutes on the PK. For the Blues to reach their best form, Binnington has to rise above the middle-of-the-pack goaltending level.

BONUS BLUE NOTE: I don’t know what was better: hometown laddie Logan Brown scoring his first goal as a Blue, or the zoomed-in camera shot of big daddy Jeff Brown beaming and smiling. Logan has only 79 goals to go to catch his dad, who scored 80 goals in his nearly five seasons as a Blue. Jeff Brown was something else: a defenseman with a booming shot and abundant confidence, who rocketed 45 goals for the Blues over his two peak seasons, 1991-92 and 1992-93. Only one NHL defenseman, Kevin Hatcher, had more goals than Brownie over the two seasons.

Thanks for reading …


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Statistics used here are from Natural Stat Trick or Hockey Reference unless otherwise noted.