Well, the Evil Empire has done it again. They proved me wrong on several points all in one night with a dominating 5-0 romp across DrinkScotch Center ice.
I've been telling people for the better part of two months that (1) the Blues can play with anyone and that (2) they don't get blown out. I've also been known to say that they (3) battle every night and (4) we don't see them go flat when they get behind like we used to see. I also used to say (a lot) that I (5) didn't hate the Red Wings so much as I hated their humorless, bandwagon fans.
Tonight, however, the Blues:
- Could not play with the Wings. This is what second place versus 12th place is supposed to look like.
- Got blown out. As the goals came in one by one, the Blues looked more and more hapless, helpless and harmless. They got dominated tonight.
- Excluding the first period and a few other small chunks of the game, they didn't battle nearly as hard as they have recently.
- They went flat. With the exception of the human engine TJ Oshie, who has no 'coast' switch, there were whole shifts where it didn't look like anyone's legs were moving.
- Some Red Wings fans showed up here and despite their initial attempts to cause problems, became involved in a lively discussion in our GDT. And that was after one of our guys virtually firebombed the Winging It In Motown site.
Bottom line, whether because they were embarassed by their shellacking in Nashville the other night or just because they woke up and decided to play hard tonight, the Wings were the better team tonight.
Here are your post-game interviews. You know what soothes Big Walt after a bad loss? A big, fat dip. You know who's catching mad texts after the game? Chris 'check my tattoo' Mason.
The interesting question that comes out of all of this is that raised by the comments of the ownership group leading up to tonight. Had the Blues won and closed on the playoffs a bit more, the franchise would have a hard time making a trade to send Keith Tkachuk away. It's hard to tell your fans that you're going for the playoffs when you trade a guy like that.
But the management left themselves an out. And if you're a conspiracy theorist you might be thinking, "they intentionally tied their go/no-go criteria on trades tomorrow to a virtually unwinnable game. If they lose like they should, the door is open to move anyone they want."
Not that we're saying that the black helicopters are coming to transport Tkachuk to Boston tomorrow, but the management's proclamation that a lot of decisions hinged on tonight did leave them an excuse if they make trades tomorrow.
We'll put up the post-game interviews if/when they become available. In the meantime, Biggest question of the night: How do you think this game affects the Blues tomorrow?