It's not just me, there are other GT staffers who have been Mike Richards fans for a while (LEADERSHIP!), but come on, man. The Blues played a tough game against a tough opponent and came up just short. Jaroslav Halak played well and Jonathan Bernier is no slouch - many thought he'd steal the starting job from Jonathan Quick this year. My contacts are a mess and my seats at the rink are not optimal, so these bulletpoints might be a bit fuzzy tonight:
- Drew Doughty got a two-minute penalty for faceplanting T.J. Oshie into the corner boards. From my crappy seats it looked bad, but not as bad as some other questionable hits I've seen down at the DrinkScotch. Lots of twittertalk about it being suspension-worthy, but I'll leave that discussion to you all in the comments.
- As for Boy Oshie himself, I thought he played yet another great game tonight. I love the Cock's quote about him from today's paper that frosted tips plays Reckless, In A Good Way. Sounds like another slogan for his business cards. Tonight was no different as he had his feet moving, used his body well and created some great chances. Keep me down as a fan of the Oshie, Backes, Steen line.
- Patrik Berglund made a really pretty move in the second and came up completely empty. Again, bad contacts, crappy seats, but I was halfway through my high-fiving routine before I realized he hadn't actually scored a goal. Come on, snakebit, pot a freaking goal already.
- Still tied for first: Hardest Working Blues forward - Vladimir Sobotka and Alexander Steen. Seeing more and more No. 20 and No. 17 jerseys in the stands these days, with good reason.
- Kevin Shattenkirk continues to be the flashy, exciting blueliner of the defensive corps, and he takes risks in a calculated manner most of the time, but tonight he damn near had a couple of crazy, costly turnovers. Luckily he was able to get back and shut down any good attempts against on those plays.
- Barret Jackman, on the other hand, had two glaring turnovers that wound up in the net. That is going to happen, get over it. Jackman is sound and solid way more than he is not, so don't even start down the Brewer path on this one. It's the NHL - everyone is great at their jobs, sometimes you're going to make the mistakes that you pay for. Tonight was one of those nights for Jackman.
Right back at it tomorrow in Pittsburgh, but plenty more to talk about from tonight. You should definitely talk about these topics as well: Ryan Reaves uses his body and skating skills well and plays a much more complete game than Cam Janssen ever did; that Kris Russell is a bit of a rodeo ride when he has the puck; the powerplay could use one more practice with Hitchcock; Jamie Langenbrunner - do something, anything; Matt D'Agostini, stop doing your Brad Boyes impression.