Thoughts from the St. Louis Blues 2013-14 opener

Hockey is back. The St. Louis Blues started their season Thursday night with a fun 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators. I was lucky enough to be in attendance and I thought I'd detail some of my thoughts from the game as well as from the entertainment leading up to the opening face-off. 

As expected, there were some positives and some negative both on and off the ice. 

Before the game

Parking wasn't as bad as I expected even with the Cardinals game taking place at almost the exact same time. Things may have gotten worse later, however.

The team calendar handed out has moments of pure hilarity. Vladimir Tarasenko still looks like he's barely 15. 

Extremely impressive light show before the game. Looks like they're making full use of projectors which can shine images down on the ice. Each player was shown on the ice during player intros. Pretty awesome stuff. I'll probably post some photos of this later. 

Loudest ovation went to either David Backes or Brett Hull. Quietest ovation was for Jordan Leopold or Magnus Paajarvi. 

This year's video shown before the game was pretty meh. Last year's video which combined history and present day was truly memorable, but this year's was forgotten almost as soon as I saw it. I'll post it once it goes online. 

It's good to be back, Charles Glenn. 

Game thoughts

The early scoring didn't tell the whole story. Despite a 3-0 lead, the Blues played some extremely poor defense, allowing the Predators countless plays where they'd bring the puck low and center it to a teammate right in front of Jaroslav Halak. A better or perhaps a less rusty team would bury a few of those high-quality chances. 

Game started physical, but tempers seemed to mostly subside as the game progressed. Very few big hits. 

Fourth line saw a ton of time on the ice. More than I can recall in recent memory.

Lines were constantly juggled. No surprise here as it's Game 1.

Halak was sharp and bailed the Blues out a few times. Nashville's second goal wasn't his fault as his defense was slow getting back. 

Some impressive offensive plays, but too often the Blues seemed to struggle to exit their zone. 

Other thoughts

The crowd was loud at times, but it felt sort of flat for a home opener. I've been to the last four openers and this was by far the most tame. It seemed like most fans got all of the cheering out of their system at the Cards game. 

Several empty seats in the upper deck. Not a ton, but they were there. Hockey Attendance lists the attendance as 18,851. You can probably blame the Cards game for the failed 100% capacity. 

Nice to hear Angella Sharpe's voice again. 

Electronic cigarettes in the stands. Kind of tough to enjoy Blues hockey when your section smells like a nasty smoky cherry scent. Seriously fans?

Welcome back hockey. Let's go Blues!