The day after firing coach Ken Hitchcock, the St. Louis Blues got back into the win column with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Mike Yeo got the win in his debut as Blues head coach, after taking over the position from Hitchcock following an emotional press conference Wednesday.
It was a press conference in which general manager Doug Armstrong was critical of himself and critical of his players, as St. Louis had fallen into a battle for a wild card spot and well back of Minnesota for the Central Division lead.
The Blues responded — at least for one game — against the Leafs.
After falling behind in the first period, St. Louis came back with five unanswered goals, opening it up in the second period with three goals, coming from Paul Stastny, Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko.
“My point to the players is we just can’t expect it to happen, we have to make it happen,” said Yeo prior to the game, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Goaltending has been a weakness for the Blues this season. They have the third worst save percentage at five-on-five. Jake Allen was recently given a brief time off to “reset” but he struggled Tuesday, allowing four goals on 23 shots versus Winnipeg.
The next day, of course, the Blues officially let Hitchcock go.
Allen had a much better night Thursday, with 26 saves on 27 shots for the win.