Good morning Blues fans! Or good afternoon as the case may be. Our beloved team is on the brink after last night’s result and it still sticks in the craw.
The St. Louis Blues had a great opportunity yesterday. They could show they are just as talented as Nashville, they could tie the series and also set themselves up for a best of three series. The Blues would have home-ice for such a scenario as well.
It was a lovely vision. Unfortunately, that’s all it was and will be.
Forces within their control and forces outside conspired against such an outcome. In the end, the Blues have their backs planted firmly against the wall.
They are down. They are very down, but they are not quite out yet.
St. Louis has to somehow forget about what happened in Game 3. That’s going to be quite difficult.
The Blues, for the fourth game in a row, came out and played a very good opening. In fact, the first period of Game 4 was the best the Blues had looked all postseason long.
St. Louis did everything right. They limited chances and kept Nashville to the outside. The Blues got in shooting lanes, nipped breakout chances in the bud, created offensive zone pressure and did almost everything right.
Almost is the key word. For all their efforts, the Blues did not score. Vladimir Tarasenko had perhaps the best chance.
He was given time and space in the slot. Instead of going for his patented wrister, he blasted a slap shot right at Pekka Rinne.
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It was one of those scenarios that you appreciate the effort, but you almost expect more. Tarasenko is one of the league’s best snipers. He has to put the Blues up by a goal in that situation. Failing to do so kept the game in doubt for too long.
For whatever reason, the Blues had another poor second period. It was not as terrible as the one in Game 3, but it was bad enough.
Momentum was gone as the Predators had seemingly absorbed the Blues best shot and counter-punched. Fortunately, Jake Allen was on top of his game again.
The game went scoreless into the third, which actually benefited the Blues. Despite the fact the tables had turned in favor of the Predators, all the Blues needed was a bit of magic or lucky bounce.
Then disaster struck. The officials for the game, which had been questionable to begin with, took the game into their hands.
During a third period scrum where all ten players were involved, the Blues picked up an extra penalty. There was absolutely nothing to happen in that scrum that should have put the Blues shorthanded.
People I know and respect have said championship teams overcome those calls and kill it off. Title contending teams take advantage of another bad call, this time benefiting the Blues.
All of that is true, but the call still impacted the game. Sure, the Blues could have and perhaps should have killed it off. They should never have been put in that situation though.
If the game stays 5-on-5 or even 4-on-4, the Blues probably don’t allow that goal. That changes the entirety of the remainder of the game.
One call cannot be blamed completely. The Blues did not play well enough in the second and third periods.
They did not pressure enough or create enough. Waiting until the final five minutes to pour on energy is not working.
The Blues cannot expect to win if they cannot compete for a full game. The officials were terrible and it is becoming more troublesome each year. There were opportunities before and after to win it and the Blues just could not.
Now, they have forced their own hand. The Blues have to win three games in a row to take the series. For now, they have to win Friday and see how things pan out.
Here are your St. Louis Blues links to get your day started off right.
Going forward, the Blues are going to have to find a way to forget about the call. Clearly it had an impact on the team because they were more than willing to discuss it after the game and the impact it had. (STLToday)
When you have won Vezina Trophies and Stanley Cups, you would figure retirement would be less fulfilling. Not so in the case of Martin Brodeur, who is getting just enough hockey through front office and now goaltending coach work to keep his mind in the game and the hunger to win alive. (Post-Dispatch)
Following the game, the gambit of emotions and responses came from the Blues head coach. Mike Yeo was both proud, disappointed and frustrated. Check out the brief, yet telling postgame presser. (Blues)
Switching back to Brodeur, it might be a multitude of factors from poor ownership to not feeling ready. Regardless, the Hall of Famer has reportedly turned down a chance to take his next career step. (NHL)
People have differing feelings about the hit itself. The outcome is no longer in doubt. Sidney Crosby will miss Game 4 for the Penguins. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!