The St. Louis Blues open up their quest for the 2019 Stanley Cup against the Winnipeg Jets. Of course, there are several storylines going ahead of time.
The St. Louis Blues are poised and ready to take on the Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2019. The Blues will be on the road for games 1 and 2.
The Blues were really solid on the road this season, so there is plenty of reason to be hopeful they can steal a game in Winnipeg.
The question is will they. Nobody knows that until the games have been played.
The Blues had some really bad showings against the Jets this year. Outside of a 1-0 win, the Blues got outscored 18-8.
That really means very little, however, since all those games came before the new year. The Jets have never really seen this current Blues team that was a completely different team than the one from those earlier games.
What it boils down to is who can get into their style of play quicker. Normally we see these playoff games and series have a certain feeling out period. The team that gets into their rhythm first has the best shot of winning.
The Blues have to find a way to generate zone time. Getting the puck deep and being able to work the cycle from the corners and behind the net will be key.
Winning the first game would put so much positive energy behind this team. However, they need to steal one game during these first two to give themselves the best chance to win the series.
You know the news cycle is slow prior to the playoffs when you get stories about tweets. As we have seen with politicians, actors, directors and others, old social media posts are like cockroaches – you forget them, but they never die.
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Such is the case with some stuff Jordan Binnington said years ago. If you want to get a look at the tweets, check out the Post-Dispatch article containing those posts, the snobbish posts of the guy that found them and Binnington’s response.
I’m going to attempt not to get political with this, but it will be hard.
Firstly, I am glad that Binnington did not really apologize. He explained that they were posted when he was 19 and he is 25 now. We all said dumb stuff when we were 19, whether we were informed or not.
Secondly, and this might be where I get in trouble, what is so wrong with what he said? He did not accuse any person of anything wrong. He did not disparage the religion of the people he was talking about.
He made a comment about a specific situation that did not make sense. As far as I am concerned, people are bringing too much of their own politics into this instead of only focusing on the comment itself.
Also, I am actually more offended by the person that dug them up and his comment that those comments would have brought outrage in the Bay Area. As though that is what the entire world should be worried about. No offense, but I could not care less how people in the Bay Area would react according to this one guy and his own sensibilities.
If each individual reads these and comes up with an issue, so be it. Nothing I say or anyone else will change that. However, it feels disingenuous for this guy to get on his high horse about something like this.
Here Comes The Thunder
Of course, leading up to this series, much of the talk is about the Winnipeg offense and justifiably so. They scored almost 30 more goals as a team than St. Louis did.
It is not as though the Blues cannot score though. St. Louis was top-five in several offensive categories after January 1, including goals, shots and offensive chances.
Thus, the Blues are not worried so much about the Winnipeg offense but trying to get their own scoring rolling. Joel Edmundson is confident they will give the Jets something to worry about.
"“We’re going to have our own little storm coming,” said Edmundson in the Post-Dispatch. “We have lots of energy right now. A couple days to rest up, and we’re just as excited as they are. Two teams that finished with 99 points in the regular season; it doesn’t really get much better than that.”"
Let’s hope the Blues can fulfill that promise. Ok, it’s not so much a promise as it is a statement, but it is a vote of confidence in his teammates.
Getting a couple early goals would definitely get the Blues feeling good about themselves. Of course, they cannot sit on their laurels and hope to defend, but you would rather be playing from in front than behind any day of the week and especially in the playoffs.
Blues Fans Should Show Well
One of the things leading into this series is there has been a lot of talk about the crowd in Winnipeg. Of course, they are hockey crazed, as most cities and towns in Canada are.
Their white-out is something to behold, even on television. I would imagine it is even more impressive in person.
Jets fans are also some of the nicest, though I’m sure if you get enough beer in them that might change. I sat behind a trio of Jets fans a few seasons ago and they had fun banter with my wife, who is from eastern Canada.
All of that said, we should not sell the Blues fans short. They can often provide one of the loudest buildings in the league once the playoffs roll around.
Don’t let that fool you. The Enterprise Center, or whatever name it has been in the past, can be dull and quiet on some regular season games, especially on a weeknight for a nonconference game.
Once the spring rolls around, the fans flip the switch though. National media might not give us the credit we deserve, but Blues fans are going to rock their home building every bit as much as Winnipeg will.
Hockey is religion in Canada, there is no doubt. Blues fans are dying for a championship though.
St. Louis will always be a baseball town, but it gets overlooked how much people care about hockey. It would be different than a World Series win, but this town would explode if/when the Blues finally win one.