Well, that sucked.
Any time you have 7 powerplays in a game, including one long two-man advantage, and only come up with 1 goal, you’re going to be in trouble. I can’t fault the guys for effort, because the effort was certainly there; I think Vancouver got the clutch goaltending from Luongo, and played with just a little bit more intensity than our journeymen bearded warriors.
Andy McDonald did his best to get the Italian Meatball netminder off his game with a playful little snow shower in the first period, but I guess it didn’t work. Luongo later robbed Mcdonald on a cross-ice feed during a powerplay, a similar goal scored by little Happy Meal in their last regular season meeting.
Here’s what I feel has to happen for us to be competitive in the next game, and considering that I am not even remotely close to being an expert, take it all with a grain of salt (and some tequilla, of course):
-The Flow must go
Talk about ridiculous. 17 penalties in one game? That is over HALF the hockey game on special teams play. The only benefit of this is that I was able to rack up the posts on the SLGT game thread. Of course, If our powerplay was clicking, I wouldn't be complaining about this right now. But seriously, the boys have to get a rhythm going to be successful. The refs should know by now that you only stop play if someone is literally bleeding to death.
Did they forget to shoot the puck last night? I don’t know what else to say about this, other than we’ve got to generate some rebound-inducing shots into the pads of Luongo, and pick up the rebounds. With an elite goaltender, it’s going to be tough to beat him on a clean shot, so you’ve gotta shovel in the garbage. Time to get your hands dirty, fellas.
-Defense must remain strong
We kept most of the Canuckleheads shots in the low percentage areas (except for the Sedin goal), and have to maintain that level of diligence in the next game.
-Offense has to get more shots, hit them on net, and generate some rebounds
Bradley Boyes missed the net on numerous occasions, even though he bagged the only goal of the game for the Blues. We’ve been plagued with this problem all season, so I’m not surprised we’re still seeing it right now. It’s almost like Jamal Mayers & Ryan Johnson put a hex on the current team before they left. If we can put the puck into Luongo’s pads, we might have a shot at some nice rebound goals, like the one we saw last night. Either that, or just dress Janssen and have him “accidentally fall” on his head. Oops!
-Mason must outwork the Italian guy
Yeah, I’m talking about Miss Bobby Lou. Mason has to step up his game, and steal the show away from Mr. Roberto. There were a couple times when I thought the dude was show-boating a little with those glove saves… That was not cool. Well, to be honest, it was pretty damn impressive, considering that it was during a playoff game. The guy can flat out play him some goaltender.
-The kids, the kids, the kids must play their game
Perron was his usual pesky self, but got into penalty trouble a couple times. Oshie & Berglund really didn’t do much, although Bergie had a nice chance early in the game. I give these dudes a free pass, especially since this is the first time they have tasted anything from the playoff bottle.
-Let’s get physical
Hell, even the swedes were getting into it last night, and that just can’t happen. We’re a bigger team, so I expect us to make them suffer a little. Other than David Backes, who else was throwing their weight around? I think the momentum (sorry Andy Murray, I know you hate that word) can be swung in our favor with a debilitating hit from one of our guys. I’m looking at you Hinote, Mckee, Oshie, Crombeen, Winchester, Tkachuk. Get out there and crack some skulls!
-Colaiacovo must stop diving into goal posts
I know he picked up the nickname “Splodeybones” over in Toronto with all his freakish injuries, but we’ve all moved on from that. I’m just hoping he didn’t hurt himself when he layed the face plant on the pipe last night.
The equalizer is tomorrow night at 9pm CST. Blues fans, go get your six pack of Guinness, and Vancouver fans, time to pick up your Zima. As Conan O’Brien once said, “Vroom vroom party startah!!!”
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