Murder by Numbers; Blues at Red Wings Game Recap

Some of my least favorite game recaps or reviews to read are the ones that start with “This game had it all”. What is included in this ever so trite ‘all’? If I had to guess as to what games have it ‘all’ I’d have to point myself and everyone else in the direction of last night’s Blues at Detroit epic tale of a game. This game made it clear what ‘all’ means and gave hope to Blues fans everywhere; albeit too little too late, but why not end the season on a high note against one of their most hated rivals? This game had so much of it all that it’d probably suit everyone best if I employ numbered bullets. You see, the Blues lit the lamp 10 (possibly 10.5 or 11 depending on whether or not the guy in charge of the goal light at The Joe  lit it on the called off goal(s)).  Let’s start, shall we?

  1. Chris Stewart scores his 27th of the year via goal attempt by Patrik Berglund. Detroit’s goal was wide open, Berglund took the shot which was blocked and Stewart took the rebound and capitalized. The bang in goal evened out the game 1-1 at 14:06 in the first period.
  2. In perhaps the biggest ‘feel good’ moment of the game, Cam Janssen scored his first goal in 114 games, shocking himself, fans and anyone even slightly related to or attached to the Red Wings organization.  Thanks to Ryan Reaves blocking out Detroit Captain Niklas Lidstrom  and perfectly timing his pass across the crease, a little luck, and the puck going off his shin pad and in to the goal Cam Janssen got his first goal of the year. Janssen’s net-crashing goal was reviewed as some eyes saw it as a possible kicking motion, making the goal null and void, but moments later the ruling on the ice stood as a perfectly good goal. Darren Pang of Fox Sports Midwest interviewed a deservedly giddy Cam Janssen during first intermission that you can find here:
  3. AHL-er Chris Porter scored his first Blues goal of the year with a wrister at 18:24…still in the first period. At this point the Blues were up on the Wings 3-2.
  4. Finally, the start of the second period. I’m sure the Red Wings came out from their locker rooms in after the horrendous first period ready to play some bang-bang, no holds barred hockey in the second period. Well, that might have been what they wanted but it sure didn’t look that way as Matt D’Agostini took advantage of a Blues powerplay on another goal that almost didn’t happen. To be fair the goal did look suspect, though not in the way it looked to others. This was another goal the refs so badly wanted to waive off due to “a distinct kicking motion” but the hockey gods were smiling down upon the St. Louis Blues. Remember when I said this game defines what ‘all’ is? D’Agostini’s goal, which was almost not even reviewed at all, was reviewed in Toronto, viewed as a good goal and was against the Red Wings at Joe Louis. This defines games that have it ‘all’ and will most likely never happen again, so revel in it my fellow Blues fans! Don’t question it, just take it and run with it…because that’s what D’Agostini and the rest of the men in blue continued to do all night. We’re not even half way through the game yet…
  5. Assisted by Roman Polak and Andy McDonald, BJ Crombeen took a powerful wrist shot at 5:23 in the second period. Crombeen’s 7th goal of the year put the Blues up 5-2. I’ll also take the opportunity to point out that David Backes got mad ups in his attempts to give the puck a free lane in which to travel. At this point Detroit pulled their starting goalie, Joey MacDonald in favor of Thomas McCollum (of the Grand Rapids Griffins AHL squad).
  6. Another powerplay opportunity gave the Blues yet another chance to score and after a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk, David Backes did just that on a snap shot at 10:04. This goal put the Blues up 5-2, however, shortly thereafter Detroit responded back with a goal by Henrik Zetterberg. This minor setback slightly bridged the gap at 5-3 midway through the second period.
  7. Roman Polak wasn’t going to let Detroit feel safe after that Zetterberg goal and decided to add to the Blues tally. Chris Porter assisted Polak at 14:47, giving him a multi-point night (hint: Porter still won’t be satisfied with only two points).
  8. As Chris Stewart was midway through his hard shot from center ice, Vladimir Sobotka was off to the races as he saw a prime opportunity that no one else was really aware of. Stewart’s shot bounced off of goalie T. McCollum giving Sobotka a juicy rebound. The wrist shot slid in under McCollum’s pads and gave the Blues a bigger lead at 8-3.
  9. Not one to be left out of the party, Patrik Berglund popped his snap shot in via the Colorado Connection (assisted by Shattenkirk and Stewart) at 6:21 – the first goal in the third period. I’d like to add in a “sub-goal” if you will, aptly named ‘Goal 9.5 – the goal that never was’ – Sobotka would’ve had his second goal of the night had Shattenkirk and Detroit’s Johan Franzen not squared up with one another, each one waiting for the other to drop his gloves. The lights were flashing after Sobotka ostensibly scored his goal, however it was ruled that the whistle had blown to deal with the Shattenkirk/Franzen offset minors dealt for unsportsmanlike conduct. Also, for those of you maybe not keeping a close eye or getting confused by this veritable rain shower of goals…each and every goal thus far has been scored by a different player. 9 goals, 9 guys.
  10. The final crushing blow to the Red Wings was dealt by Chris Porter as his wrist shot was assisted by another multi-point player, Cam Janssen, at 17:50. Porter even gave a mocking “no big deal” face to appease his teammates.
Relive every Blues goal from last night’s game, or as Blues fans everywhere are calling it “Blues’ Greatest Hits, 2010-11: 1 through 10″:

Still with me? Good, because this story makes me feel good every time I think about it, watch any one of the 10 videos of each goal, re-watch intermission and post-game videos and the like. Blues fans may know that their season is as good as over but how often can we say that we not only saw a game that ‘had it all’ but our team won that game, too. 10 goals, a few goals that didn’t want to go our way, some that should have but didn’t, 9 goals by 9 different players, a game where there was a goal scored on average every 5-6 minutes, a Cam Janssen goal, a player who has only been with our team for 21 games and has scored more in his time here than where he came from, Halak making 41 saves…there’s not much more you can ask for. Wait, yeah there is – FIGHTS. Of all the things this game was missing it was the physical nitty-gritty. Mr. “Bam-Bam Cam” Janssen was a fight short of reaching an acclaimed Gordie Howe hat trick. Despite the lack of any fight, a Janssen one in particular, this game wowed fans across the nation and proved that the Blues may be out but they sure weren’t playing down.

Post Music: Murder by Numbers by The Police – “Once you’ve decided on a killing, first you make a stone of your heart” sings Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting. This slinky song doesn’t really match up with it’s dark and grotesque lyrics, but the Blues play last night didn’t really match up with the rest of the season. The Blues chose last night to attempt to “join the ranks of illustrious” as illustrated in this early 80’s song performed during the hot Synchronicity tour.

Tags: AHL Andy McDonald BJ Crombeen Cam Janssen Chris Porter Chris Stewart David Backes Detroit Detroit Red Wings Kevin Shattenkirk Matt D'Agostini NHL Patrik Berglund Roman Polak Ryan Reaves St. Louis St. Louis Blues Vladimir Sobotka

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