I made a promise to myself that this year would be the season I get off the Blues Rollercoaster. I'm not going to put so much weight behind big wins and I'm not going to get depressed after the demoralizing losses. Seven games into the season and I'm happy to report that my plan is completely blown to shreds.
When the Blues were playing lethargic hockey and Jaroslav Halak was escorting every half-decent shot into the net, I wanted to find a way to not answer my phone or email or whatever and skip work to avoid having to hear the inevitable, "What's up with your Blues?" questions. Now that they've won three in a row behind the solid goaltending of Brian Elliott and the more determined play of the skaters and I'm strutting around my house like I scored the winning goal.
Whatever. I'm a fan, I guess. So much for being an unbiased media member. Insert guffaw here.
You know what respected members of the media would never do? Wrap this up with bulletpoints. And made up cusswords.
- Alexander Steen is clearly the most underrated player on the Blues the last couple years. He plays on the third line, shuts down the other team, scores pretty goals, sets up his teammates and never, ever takes a shift off. I've heard at least three people say to me, "You know whose jersey I want to get? Alex Steen, man. He's awesome." Not one of those people is currently wearing an Alex Steen jersey to games. I don't expect him to lead this team in goals or points at the end of the year, but he'll be in the top five (again) and he'll lead the team in heart and fewest shortcuts taken.
- Brian Elliott will forever be in the Blues history books as the guy who won the franchise's 1,500th game. Will that be a trivia question or will it be a milestone we point to and say, "That's right about the time he took over the starting job." He is 4-0 this year, has a 95.0% save percentage, a goals-against of 1.59 and has beaten the Canucks, Flyers and Sharks. He has gotten lucky on some stuff and has had good defense to help out, but it's hard to make an argument that he should sit down in favor of Halak at this point.
- I thought Patrik Berglund, David Backes, Vladimir Sobotka, Matt D'Agostini and Jason Arnott looked really good tonight.
- I thought T.J. Oshie looked like he was pressing a little. The team needs him to get comfortable and start scoring like we know/hope he can.
- I thought Chris Stewart's 16 minutes of icetime looked more like about four minutes of icetime. I don't know what it'll take him to get going again, but I feel like it has more to do with linemates than anything else and I don't like him with Backes and Sobotka.
- So, Jamie Langenbrunner, anytime would be a good time to, you know, get involved. I mean before the whistle.
- Alex Pietrangelo is so good that we all expect more out of him than we should for a true sophomore. That kid is playing like a seasoned veteran at this point. It's surprising when he doesn't get on the scoresheet, but even when he doesn't he has a huge impact on the game.
- Kevin Shattenkirk is not as good of a player as Pietrangelo, but he sure seems to be cornering the market on flashy passes from Blues defensemen. He has two assists tonight and bothe were ridiculous backhand flip passes right into the wheelhouses of Steen and Berglund.
- I miss Roman Polak's fake twitter feed. I like @Not_Allan_Walsh on twitter way better than I like @walsha on twitter. I also like the fact that @FakeRomanPolak popped up on twitter within seconds of @RomanP46 going silent.
Cal and Gary up next. Until then, just sleep the sleep of the victorious, with visions of Blues players crushing tail all over Vancouver tonight.