In recent seasons for the St. Louis Blues, falling behind 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings would be cause for desperation and panic. Not tonight (this afternoon?) in Sweden. Those lovable scamps scored three unanswered goals and defeated Detroit 4-3. THREE UNANSWERED GOALS. AGAINST DETROIT. Poetry is what that is.
Couple of quick observations:
- It seems the Blues have caught up to the Red Wings in the team speed department...and maybe even passed them. Blues got to the pucks quicker, rushed down the ice faster and swarmed much of the third period. It's one game, the first game, but the Wings should be concerned that their puck possession game kind of relies on the belief that they're faster than the opposition. If the defense can keep up with the Wings, I foresee a lot of pucks going the other way.
- Lots of big plays for both teams, offensively and defensively. It's great that the Blues showed their capabilities to a national cable except DirecTV audience, but it was on a Friday afternoon. Mason made some huge saves in this game, hopefully beginning to answer the question of whether or not he was a flash in the pan last Spring.
- Paul Kariya is healthy. And excitable.
- The Wings were bouncing off of David Backes. He is made of steel and craps rivets.
- The St. Louis Blues are going to be an exciting hockey team this season. As Juan Mallagher told me from his neighbor Pepe's burrow shed, when the play wasn't there they chipped the puck into the corner and dug it out. When there was an opportunity, they skated hard and played aggressively. The transition game was pretty solid instead of fucking ugly.
And just think, we only have to wait until Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. St. Louis time for the rematch.
So, Gametimers, what do you think of 1/82nd of the season? I need a beer. Or five.