Good morning Blues fans! The day we have all waited for, and some thought would not come, has arrived. It is time to start the 2017 NHL Playoffs.
The St. Louis Blues get things rolling on their 2017 NHL Playoff campaign tonight. While it will be difficult for everyone to stay up with the stupid game time, the excitement is palpable.
If you missed our Day Before Playoffs poem, I do suggest you take a look. It was immensely entertaining to write and hopefully it was enjoyable to read.
While it was necessary to simplify ideas for the poem, the thought that it really boils down to two players for the Blues success is not that far fetched. The interesting thing is the two the Blues need the most will be on complete opposite sides of the ice.
It sounds overly simplistic, but the Blues will go as far as Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen can take them. Yes, they need good performances from other guys because as talented as Tarasenko is, he has yet to show that ability to completely take a game over.
Still, if Tarasenko can score and Allen keeps pucks out then things at least even up for the Blues, if not go in their favor. While it may be possible to win without both of those things happening, it is much less likely.
Clearly the performances of one or two guys is not the be-all, end-all. Tarasenko scored six goals in six games against Minnesota the last time they played in the postseason. In case you forgot, the Blues lost that series.
However, if Tarasenko goes cold like he did against San Jose, it becomes much harder for St. Louis to succeed. The same goes for Jake Allen.
With as cold as Minnesota was down the stretch, Allen might not be called on as much to steal a game. However, you can’t rely on regular season endings since the Wild still have an offense that put in the second most goals in the entire league.
Is there some pressure to perform on those guys then? For sure. However, it is no more pressure than normally exists because those are the guys the team has labeled as their present and their future for some time now.
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Tarasenko has been the poster boy for the Blues almost immediately after his arrival. Allen was basically told he would be the guy even after Brian Elliott‘s playoff run of last year.
Tarasenko goes cold or defers a bit too much and Allen had his struggles once handed the reigns by himself. However, both have stepped up to the plate and are big reasons why we should have confidence the Blues can pull off the “upset”.
I use the quotations due to these teams not being as far apart as once believed. If you had told me the Blues would even be in the Wild’s class a month or two ago, I’d have had you committed.
Now, the Blues might actually be the better team. It seems almost sacrilegious to say, but only Minnesota’s unbelievable start that kept them from dropping to the third seed.
In the end, it all comes down to what we see on the ice. All the stuff disappears, players just play and the winners will be determined.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
As fans, sometimes we take too simplistic an approach with thrusting prospects into the limelight. However, with Paul Stastny almost certain to be out until the second round, Ivan Barbashev is going to get his crack at the top spot. (STLToday)
As fans, we thirst for blood sometimes. We call for people’s jobs left and right, would have no problem in some cases if certain opponents got hurt and, simply put, want revenge. Don’t count Mike Yeo among those people (at least not outwardly) as he is focused on postseason success, not just the fleeting glory in beating his former team. (Post-Dispatch)
Hockey has a rather archaic way of reporting injuries in the first place, but it becomes even more secretive and tight-lipped in the playoffs. So, in full Tom Clancy mode, don’t expect to find out the real condition of any banged up Blues until you see them suit up and play. (STLToday)
Connor Bleackley came with high praise when the Blues acquired him, but his pro career has hit a bit of a snag when he was sent all the way down the the ECHL. Now, with the playoffs looming he and Adam Musil will get a look in the AHL. (Wolves)
Pro sports are a here today, gone tomorrow kind of world. Just look at the L.A. Kings. Darryl Sutter and GM Dean Lombardi built and led the team to two Stanley Cups, something not even Wayne Gretzky could do. Now, both are gone and the Kings are looking to the past as they go forward. (ESPN)
Don’t count the Detroit Red Wings in the same category as the Kings. Despite missing the playoffs and given a chance to bring in new blood for their new arena, the Wings will stand pat behind the bench and in the front office for next year. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!