The St. Louis Blues have a resilient bunch of guys on their roster. They will need a lot of that to overcome their current hole.
The St. Louis Blues have faced plenty of adversity before. They had the handpass game and two very bad losses to the Boston Bruins and still managed to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
The scenario they face now is something the Blues have not dealt with in years. In fact, the last time the Blues lost the first two games of any series, they got swept by the Los Angeles Kings in 2011-12.
L.A. went on to win the Stanley Cup. Maybe Vancouver could be that upset team this year, but the Blues are hoping to do what has been done to them.
While many of these players were not on those teams, the Blues have gone up 2-0 twice in the last decade and proceeded to lose the next four games. It happened against the Kings in 2012-13 and against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013-14.
The Blues have the talent to do just that to Vancouver. Winning Game 3 has to come first.
The problem is that the Blues are in unfamiliar territory in other ways than just the series deficit. They aren’t getting stellar goaltending at the moment, the defense has been shaky at best and, whether you blame the officials or the players, they cannot find a way to keep the game five-on-five.
Getting all of that, or at least most of it, is how the Blues are going to win.
Fortunately, the Blues started showing up in third period of Game 2. They are not ready to give up yet.
“It was probably the best game we’ve played since we’ve been in Edmonton,” said Alex Pietrangelo, reported by Chris Pinkert. “Sometimes you just have to keep playing and eventually things turn. Is it frustrating? Yeah, sure. But we don’t really care what people think outside of our locker room. We had a lot of noise last year, too, and look what we did.”
The Blues might not HAVE to win this game, but Vancouver has already proven they can win when St. Louis starts getting their game going. You just cannot give the Canucks a 3-0 lead and expect you are good enough to sweep them four games after that.
Where/When to watch/listen
Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports Go app, NBCSN
101 ESPN, NHL app
Sadly, Friday’s game was the last scheduled game at a decent time. Games 3 and 4 will be at the dreaded 9:30 Central Time start, which means closer to 9:45.
That means the game will not end until 12:30 at the earliest. So, the Blues better win to make it worth it staying up that late. It’s always extra salt in the wound if you stay up and the team loses.
As of right now, there is no indication of any changes to the roster in terms of skaters used. Ivan Barbashev will not be available for several days, if at all in this series.
The only change possibly in the works is in net. After Saturday’s practice, Craig Berube would not commit to one name or the other.
Personally, I think the Blues should start Jake Allen in Game 3. They were going to play him in one of these back-to-back games anyway, so give yourself more options by making it this one.
Well, I am 0-2 in this series, so bet against whatever I say. I still have faith in this team, but it is dwindling.
It all depends on the start.
If the Blues come out in the first period and play like they did in the third period of Game 2, the Blues will win. If we get another start to the game where the Blues are trying to get a feel for the game and/or allow the first goal, Vancouver takes it.