TJ Oshie entered Friday night's game with a whopping five points (1G, 4A) in 11 games. He exited with eight points and his best all-around game of the season. Not only did Oshie score two goals and assist on another but he was all over the ice defensively, and played a smarter game than I have seen him play in the past. He looked like the legendary mixture of Selke-caliber defender and elite scorer that most St. Louisans crowned him when he arrived in St. Louis in 2008. I hope to see many more games like this out of Oshie. If the Blues want to make a run past the first round of the playoffs, Oshie will need to be an integral part of their offense.
The power-play woes continued as the Blue Note went 0-2 against Vancouver. The first power-play actually looked pretty solid but the Blues were unable to capitalize. The second power-play lasted all of 33 seconds before Alex Steen inadvertently clubbed someone in the face and took a high-sticking penalty. The PK killed off two of three, giving up a tip-in goal to Ryan Kesler 23 seconds into the third period.
Brian Elliot, seemingly telling me to stop doubting him and shut up, stopped 28 of 30 shots and made several key saves. He stopped numerous breakaway attempts by the Canucks, and continued to push Jaroslav Halak to either get better or keep sitting. At this point, Elliot looks like the guy. For the time being, at least. Including tonight's performance, the free-agent pick up has posted a 5-1 record with a save percentage of .941 and a GAA of 1.72. Those stats are ridiculous and cannot be expected for an entire season, but right now the man is on fire. He looked extremely sharp tonight, and the guys seem to enjoy playing in front of him. The play of the entire team seems noticeably better with Elliot in net, which is not a good sign that Halak will be the franchise goalie the Blues are looking for.
After a layoff that seemed like forever, it was good to see the Blues bounce back and get a big win in the front end of this back-to-back.
Tomorrow night, the Blues visit Minnesota for a 7 o'clock start time. Look out for another recap, and in the mean time check out the daily dose of links. Tomorrow's edition should be up by three or so. In honor of Oshie's performance this evening, I'm posting this video I made out of boredom a couple of years ago.