The St. Louis Blues did not have any of the pressure taken off them after a disappointing Game 1 performance in San Jose. They will have plenty of bulletin board material, should they choose to use it.
The St. Louis Blues have their own game to worry about after a rather dreadful all around performance in their first game in the Shark Tank. So, you would not want to poke the bear, right?
Well, the San Jose Sharks may be doing that ever so slightly. There was not a ton, but there was enough talk about the other team out of the San Jose locker room that they might have stirred something up.
One thing I have always marveled at is the fact humans can see the exact same thing and get completely different views out of it. One sees utter domination, one sees nothing but mistakes and still others see gaps and chinks in both sides.
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Take Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in San Jose. The Sharks earned the victory and were the better team.
The Blues played one of their worst games of the playoffs and got beaten 6-3. That said, the viewpoint of myself and several others is that as awful as the Blues were, they could have won the game or, at least, been in it at the very end.
What we see is the fact the Blues basically handed the Sharks four of their six goals with no backcheck from the forwards, terrible turnovers and little defensive help for Jordan Binnington. The Blues also squandered a sure goal on a second period two-on-one.
If those things turn out even slightly different, the game is turned on its head. The Sharks did not dominate. They simply played well and took advantage of mistakes. If mistakes are not made, the Sharks do not look near as good.
However, as is human nature, some see it differently. Some see the Blues being outmatched and knowing it.
A columnist for the Mercury News flat out said the Blues were exposed and found out they cannot beat the Sharks straight up. Thus, they employed a devious plan to out-physical the Sharks and it did not work.
Erik Karlsson‘s earlier statement was the basis for this article. “We played hockey tonight and they were about a few other things,” Karlsson said, as reported in the Mercury News. “And we won the game.”
It is not as though the statements are untrue. The Blues took themselves out of their game by trying to go for too many hits, something that cost them during the Dallas series too.
Nevertheless, the definitive nature of the headline is just foolishness. The Sharks were the better team and deserved to win that game, but the Blues took themselves out of the game.
If St. Louis played their absolute best and San Jose still wiped the floor with them, headlines like the truth coming out would make more sense. We know nothing about this series yet, though.
So now, the hype is on the Sharks and we will see how they can handle it. There was nothing malicious or overtly wrong with what Karlsson said, but the implication is the Blues were outmatched. We will now see if he can cash that check.
It is funny too, this perception thing. It does come off as quietly confident, but it can also be viewed as a guy that got beat up all over the ice trying to sound tough, like he can take it.
St. Louis has proven people wrong all season long. There is likely not even a Blues fan among us all that has not been proven wrong in some fashion by this team.
Now, they need to show San Jose and their media that they are wrong. The Blues did not make it this far by luck. At their best, they can be the best. It is all about consistency and now they have more reasons to prove more doubters wrong.