The underdog Blues were triumphant again last night, defeating the LA Kings 2-1 with an unlikely goal by Barrett Jackman with less than a minute remaining. Here’s some quick reactions…
•Elliot continues to play very well. The Blues got sloppy in game 2 but Elliot bailed them out with fantastic saves.
•Jaden Schwartz has stepped up to the plate…er… ice. I know he hasn’t scored any goals yet this postseason but he’s gotten SO close. He’s hustling despite his slight size and is proving that there is more than one great winger prospect on the Blues.
•The Blues 4th line is the difference in this series. Hitchcock was a genius in keeping this line together. They continue to get scoring chances and is out muscling the Kings. When Backes went down in the 1st period, Hitchcock was able to plug Reaves in on that 1st line to keep up the intensity. Incredible.
•But the Blues CAN NOT get comfortable. They now have to go back to hostile LA and the Kings are hungry. They know they are better than this. The Blues got too comfortable at Scott Trade during the regular season and they lost a lot of games they should have won.
Next game is Saturday, it’s on the west coast so its going to be a long night! Let’s go Blues!
The Blues were victorious last night, beating the Kings 2-1 in OT to take a 1-0 series lead. Here are some immediate reactions…
•This is a different team- This team isn’t the same one that got swept last year. After the 1st period I saw something familiar, the performance last night looked a LOT like last year’s dominating team. But they learned a hard lesson, this team won’t be taking useless minors or have the goal tending fall apart.
•The 4th line is playing OUT OF THEIR MINDS- The line of Adam Cracknell, Ryan Reaves and Chris Porter has come out of nowhere. They’ve been playing SO well that Hitchcock kept out Taresanko just to keep this line together. Reeve’s is playing more physical than ever and Cracknell is all over the ice. Every time this line is on the ice, the Blues have the advantage.
A physical MONSTER
•Brian Elliot has his confidence back- Brian Elliot is back to his old form. In March who saw this coming? Halak was doing OK and Jake Allen was giving this team a big boost. Elliot was even in Peoria at one point. His timely saves last night were phenomenal.
•If the Kings win this series, it will be because of Jonathon Quick– Once again Quick was fantastic last night. The 1st period should have ended 3-0 but Quick kept them in the game. At one point he made a stretching save with the tip of his skate! Absolutely incredible.
It’s no surprise this game was so close, it’s going to be a long and very exciting series. Long live the Note!
Who are these Blues?
I’m not going to pretend and act like I’m an intelligent hockey fan. I started following the St. Louis Blue’s after I was inspired by my perhaps all time favorite movie: Miracle On Ice. I have such respect for those guys. Hockey players are REAL athletes. There’s a reason why there are so many line changes a game. It’s just so fantastically fast paced and gets your heart pumping in those final minutes. I’m just a self indulged, fascinated amazed, typical fan who loves the sport. That has lead me to these crazy Blues. So frustratingly inconsistent but so beautiful. When these young players play to their potential, it’s a beautiful thing. So perfectly executed.
So who are these Blues?
- The enigmatic offense that has more than enough talent, but can’t get the puck in the net. A team that loses it’s head with “Too many men on the ice” penalties. A team where the top forwards are struggling so much that guys like Adam Cracknell have to step up just so we can score. Maybe we’ll never find that consistency, maybe we’ll always be just average.
- The kind of team that can steal a Stanley Cup. The kind of team that turns it on in those last beautiful minutes to snatch those overtime victories. The team that CHOKES it’s opponents for the puck and keeps grinding out shots. The team with a goal tender that just CAN’T be stopped. The team that stifles you in the bouncy Scott Trade Center no matter WHO you are.
St. Louis Blues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This team has come a long way in this short season. It started out with good “ole Halak dominating and Tarasenko putting on a clinic. Later shifted to Jake Allen showing why he was a 2nd round pick. Elliot fell off the map, fans demanded a trade. But where are we now? Back to that traditional winning formula with Elliot absolutely locked in.
It’s a frustrating thing, these Blues. One night we see complete domination in #2. We win 5 in row and then we decide not score anymore and fall into #1 above, promptly losing the next 3. Some goals given up are just so ugly that you want shield your eyes. Then the next night we see Backes going all over the ice like a maniac, hitting and putting shots on goal. This is Backes’s team. It has to be.
So what do we expect?
Last night showed me who the Blues are. The over time wins over Vancouver and Phoenix showed me how much the Blues want it. I love how tough this team is. This team is going to get good goal tending and is just going to have to grind out it’s wins. It’s going to have to keep playing EXCELLENT defense and PK and just FIND A WAY to get to puck in the net. The Blues aren’t ever going to be anything fancy. It’s going to be ugly. But Hitchcock knows it’s time. There only 6 games left. The Blues can’t afford to ever be #1 again. Dig deep and enjoy the ride.
My name is Clayton and I am teenage sports fan residing in SW Missouri. I’ve been a sports fan all my life, but baseball is my prominent passion. Especially the St. Louis Cardinals ever since those Scott Rolen and Edwin Encarnacion days. I’m also an avid football and, most recently, hockey fan. I’ve been a dedicated Rams fan since I dominated with Marshall Faulk in the old Madden games as a kid. I started following the Blues after reading about the incredible story of the 1960 U.S Olympic Hockey Team and their gold medal run against the Soviet Union. I love the grit and toughness of the National Hockey League. Those guys are real athletes. I’m a big fantasy baseball and fantasy football player on ESPN and I love debating and talking about the Cardinals, Rams and Blues with my friends. I’m an extremely gifted and intelligent student and have been told I’m a talented writer. I have aspirations in sports journalism.
I got the idea to start a sports blog partially from recommendations from peers. I also read Bleacher Report and have realized that I have my own opinions and analysis that could be worth publishing. Let’s be clear, this is not a news reporting blog. The news itself will be out in credible ways through mediums like ESPN and other reporters. This blog is designed for reactions and opinions, and maybe a little bit of a different take on things. I’m trying to put out different content that you just might not find anywhere else. I’ll add other off topic posts because frankly, there is more to life than sports. Although sometimes times like March Madness might dictate other wise. This sight will primarily be for Cardinal content, but don’t worry, I get my Rams and Blues crave too. The content will grow as I grow as a writer and as the blog grows. I’m doing this because I enjoy this, nobody is paying me.