Good morning Blues fans! Today could be the day. The Blues have an excellent opportunity, but it is up to them to finish things off.
The St. Louis Blues have a great opportunity tonight against the Minnesota Wild. They have a chance to end the series and show they have learned from past mistakes.
During last year’s fantastic playoff run, the Blues had several opportunities to end their first two series. St. Louis managed to get the series advantage on both Dallas and Chicago.
The Blues were up 3-1 on Chicago and the series went seven games. The Blues were up 2-1 and 3-2 on Dallas as well, but could not finish things off before that pivotal seventh game.
Up 3-0, going seven games would be an utter disaster, even if you win the series. The Blues need to end things tonight and snuff out any hope for Minnesota.
Of course, nobody is kidding themselves that it will be easy. The Wild have pride and some great players.
They are on a scoring drought and those can end at any time. Just look at San Jose, who lit up Edmonton for seven goals on Tuesday.
The Blues are going to have to be close to perfect to pull it off tonight.
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They will need Jake Allen at his very best. They will need Vladimir Tarasenko to, if not score, at least create on the offensive end.
The Blues defenders will need to clear pucks like they were born to do so. Blocked shots will be paramount, faceoffs will take extra importance and passes must be crisp and on the mark.
Even if all that happens, there is a chance the sweep does not happen. Just look at Game 1. The Blues did almost nothing to deserve to win that game, but did. The opposite could happen.
There’s no reason why the sweep can’t happen though. Game 3 showed that the Blues can be the better team.
Minnesota got off a lot of shots, but the quality was not there like it was in Games 1 and 2. The Blues did just about everything right and got rewarded for it.
As fans, all we can do is hope to see the same thing tonight. Nobody wants this series to go any further.
We all love hockey and love to watch the game, but any and every other series can continue to go on for all we care. The Blues need to end it.
The problem becomes the math of the series. If you had told me for certain the series would be 3-1 after four games, I’d have wanted the Blues to lose Game 3 and win Game 4.
The Wild winning Game 4 and going back to Minnesota would be completely unappealing. In only one game, the Blues have shown themselves to be a better home team against the Wild than on the road.
St. Louis needs to treat this like a Game 7 just the way Minnesota is going to. That’s hard to do.
It is human nature to know you have a cushion to fall back on. The Blues and Mike Yeo must put that out of the team’s mind. Win tonight and get on with preparation for the next one.
It’s time for the Blues to bristle those brooms and sweep the Wild out of the playoffs.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
The likelihood that it happens in this series is incredibly small. However, Paul Stastny is skating and a return to the lineup might be imminent. (STLToday)
The Blues don’t exactly have a lot of experience in the situation they find themselves in tonight. It has been over a decade since the Blues last had a chance to sweep anyone. So, how they react is anyone’s guess. (Post-Dispatch)
As gametime approaches, it is interesting to see the differences in how the teams are thinking about the game. The Wild are desperate to score, while the Blues are in a position that they don’t care who scores as long as they win. (Fox Sports)
The NHL has held its annual awards show in Las Vegas for a few years now. So, they are going to kill two birds with one stone and have the Las Vegas Golden Knights make their Expansion Draft Selections during the awards. (NHL)
The Capitals are taking the opposite mental approach than the Blues are. Trailing Toronto in their series, the Caps will throw Alex Ovechkin on the ice every time they can now. (NHL)
Have a great day Blues fans!