Good Teams Can Be Beaten
I’ve dreaded writing this as much as I did watching the game slip away when it was firmly in hand. I’ve done this before where I couldn’t write the recap directly after a game because it would be filled with so many angry thoughts and would just be babble no one would read it and you’d think I just wanted spew vile words. Remember, we’re fans just like you and while we do our best to stay even keeled, sometimes we can’t hold back. Don’t believe me? Go read some of the twitter conversations I had after the game. Oh and it’s NSFW, but this will be after a 24 hour cool down.
So without further adieu………
This night started off kinda crazy. The first period was everything you’d expect from two rivals who are developing a serious hate for each other. I can’t blame Chicago for wanting to exact revenge for the schlacking they took exactly one week earlier, but this wasn’t so much about Chicago taking it to the Blues, it was that the Blues fell apart.
The action was fast paced from the opening draw and it didn’t let up until the final horn after the shootout. Chicago was able to get on the board first with a nice pass from Marian Hossa to Andrew Brunette who went top shelf on Halak. The speed that they brought into the zone I’m not sure any goalie had a chance to stop that shot.
It didn’t phase the Blues though.
59 seconds later Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner hooked up for a slick slap shot to tie it at one. This gave the Note a much needed shot in the arm and it appeared that they were poised to take the Hawks back to the woodshed.
The hits were big and nasty which led to a few scraps in the first. They mostly were for show and didin’t really become the title bouts you’d expect, but the points were made, nobody was backing down.
The Blues continued to dominate the period with getting goals from Andy McDonald and Patrik Berglund. Berglund’s goal was pretty impressive with the tip in from the point that Emery didn’t stand a chance to stop.
The Blues had their lockdown with 3 goals heading into the first intermission at 3-1. Things couldn’t be going any better for them.
Joel Quinnvelle made the smart choice of making the switch between the pipes as the Blues scored three goals on 6 shots. This game was rare as the Hawks were able to control much of the action on the stat sheets but somehow found themselves in a hole.
I don’t know what was said between periods but the Hawks managed to settle down and only took one more penalty for the rest of the game. The Blues on the other hand decided to play with fire and drew SIX more penalties. Anytime you give a talented team 12 minutes with the man advantage, you’re going to end up paying for it eventually.
One thing that happened and you knew it was going to come to an end at some point, was the 3 goal shutdown and the Penalty kill streak.
The Blues did manage to set a team record and come up second with 51, I’ll repeat that 51 consecutive penaties killed off. They were two away for the record set by the Leafs, 53. I cannot commend the team enough for making up on the ice for the guys sitting off the ice. While it would’ve been nice to set the NHL record, what they did was still pretty remarkable. The power play goal they gave up was also tied the game at 3. Which ended up pushing the teams to a shootout.
Even though the Hawks dominated the shots on goal 46-21, the game never seemed too far out of reach. When the Blues did have posession, they were in control and they made their shots count. Too bad Crawford was on his game and made things tough and kept the puck out of the net.
Let this game be a lesson that if you don’t bring your “A” game every night that even if you have a 14 point lead, the game can be taken to you and you’ll end up looking bad.
It appeared that the Blues lost some energy in the final two periods and that makes sense with the very high level that they’ve played over the last two weeks, but that’s what they’re going to have to do in the playoffs to really make some noise and turn some heads.