Good morning Blues fans! It is gameday once again, but we better see a completely different effort if we want the same results.
The St. Louis Blues stole Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. In fact, it would not surprise me if they threw Jake Allen in jail for the night since he was the sole reason for the thievery.
Allen, if only for one night, proved he is what the Blues want him to be and what his fans hoped he would be. He was a true starting goaltender that truly won the game single-handedly.
You can point to the goal scorers and say without them the Blues lose too, but it was all on Allen to do the heavy lifting. I don’t care if it is a regular season game or playoffs, you should not be facing 52 shots in a single night.
Allen did and had a shutout going for 59:37. If the Blues could have won a faceoff or cleared the puck, he might have had an official shutout and even more glory.
Instead, he will settle for the win and all the accolades of the fans and media. 51 saves is nothing to scoff at no matter how many goals you let up, especially if it is only one.
Taking the focus away from Allen though, the Blues cannot expect that every night. Even the hottest goaltenders in history would be able to withstand over 100 shots in two games and the pressure of having to be perfect to win.
It is a fine line, but being perfect and having to be are still different things. Allen’s teammates must step up band play Blues hockey.
That term is probably overused, but whatever we saw in Game 1 was not Blues hockey. That was NHL against juniors and somehow the juniors snuck a couple in.
Even if we only see the Blues from the first period of Game 1, that might be enough if Allen is still on his game. The Blues at least looked like they could compete in the first period.
The playoffs are fickle though. St. Louis eked out a similar result against Chicago last year, played much better in Game 2 and lost. So, a better performance does not guarantee victory.
St. Louis must at least threaten though. Their goals were not lucky, but they did not look like a team that was going to score two goals. If that play continues, unless Allen is actually superhuman, the Blues do not stand a chance.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
The Blues are well aware of their poor play in the opening game of the series. They are also well aware that they owe Jake Allen a debt of gratitude. Even the team’s coach was at a loss for words when trying to describe the performance. (STLToday)
On the flip side, Allen is not wanting to focus on one good performance, knowing it can be fleeting. In stereotypical form, it’s on to the next game. (Post-Dispatch)
By now, almost all Blues fans have seen the footage of Arianna Dougan bringing Vladimir Tarasenko a birthday cake and their relationship blossoming from there. Following her road trip with the Blues, she had a chance to sit down and reflect on what the Blues have meant to her. (Fox2)
The Blues might be the only one of the two actually playing in the playoffs, but the Chicago Wolves were playing playoff type hockey. They kept their divisional lead with an important win. (Wolves)
St. Louis seems to have an uncanny ability to drive famous coaches to keep going once they’ve left even if they thought they were done. Such is the case again as Ken Hitchcock will be in familiar surrounding when he returns to the NHL next year. (NHL)
Speaking of head coaches returning after not being out of the game long, the same holds true for Gerard Gallant. After being let go in the winter by the Florida Panthers, Gallant is trading the beach for some desert heat. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!