Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013: How Physical Will Round 1 Be For the St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings do not like one another, that much is understood.  Last season in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the St. Louis Blues were without Jaroslav Halak and suffered a temporary injury to Alex Pietrangelo against the Kings.  This year the play will be just as physical, so will the Blues be up to task?

 

Mar 5, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Dwight King (74) and St. Louis Blues right wing Ryan Reaves (75) fight in the first period at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Reaves has picked up his game as of late and has earned a spot on the ice in the postseason.  If Reaves is on the ice the Blues will not need to worry about gaining energy from their fourth line, but what about the rest of the team.  If Barret Jackman is not back in time for game one, the Blues may be without one of their most physical defensemen.  Roman Polak is always a tough guy to play against, but with Jackman on the ice the two of them are strong enough to keep the opposing team out of the front of the net.  If Ian Cole and Kris Russell and relied upon the team could end up giving more chances up when their third pairing is on the ice.  T.J. Oshie will be returning from injury in the first round and will need to be careful with his ankle.  The Kings will not be so careful with Oshie who is known for throwing his body around and playing a physical game.  The team will have to protect Oshie from the Kings.

The St. Louis Blues have a lot of strength themselves, but they are going to need all that they have to keep their team in the first round.  The Los Angeles Kings play a very similar game to the St. Louis Blues and scoring will be at a minimum if both teams are on top of their game.  The Blues will have to use their strength to win battles along the boards.

So while the playoffs always mean a tougher, harder game, the series between the Blues and Kings should have some massive hits.  Also, don’t be surprised to see a couple of fights break out as these two teams do not get along.

LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Topics: Los Angeles Kings, Playoffs, St. Louis Blues

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