Jordan Binnington probably wasn’t the biggest reason the St. Louis Blues lost Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, squandering a two-goal lead in what would go on to be a 4-2 defeat. Penalties crushed them, they were outshot 30-12 over the final two periods, and the Blues’ forwards struggled to generate many — if any — quality chances after Vladimir Tarasenko‘s goal early in the second period.
Basically, a lot of things went wrong and none of that is going to be good enough in any game at any point in the season, let alone a Stanley Cup Final game against a team that has now won eight playoff games in a row.
Even so, anytime you have a two-goal lead you want to make sure that gets locked down because letting a game like that slip away in a best-of-seven series could be a crushing blow to your chances. There is a ridiculously fine line between winning and losing in the playoffs, and you can’t let games like that where you pounce on a team early turn into a loss. That makes Game 2 on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN; live stream) all the more important for the Blues.
The keys for a turnaround performance should be pretty easy to see, and staying out of the penalty box would be a good place to start.