I'll admit it, I started writing this before the overtime. After it was tied, but before the Blues had even secured one point. It's a dirty, dirty job on a drinkin' Friday (especially when a bunch of GT people are drankin it up down at the Tin Can right about meow), but someone's gotta wrap this thing up.
Bullets, shall we?
- Jaroslav Halak was the difference in this game. The Blues defense has been great and the offense has been a swarm of fucking bees, even if they aren't scoring a ton of goals every game, but Halak, despite his record (even post-Cocking) has been great lately and he was again tonight. It would have been devastating to lose with just a couple seconds left and Halak made two crucial saves in the last five seconds to get the Blues to the bonus round.
- Nice to see Kevin Shattenkirk score a goal and Chris Stewart get the primary assist on their old team in their old building. Could have used maybe one more, obviously.
- Ian Cole might want to sublet his place in Peoria. Because that kid belongs here now. His best game as a pro was in Pittsburgh last week, but he was great again tonight and I think he's just going to get better and better. The Blues defense is so young and so good that a youngish, goodish player like Carlo Colaiacovo is going to find it hard to squeak back into the top six when he gets done pulling his hammy. Alex Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Cole and Roman Polak are an impressive group and Polak, at 25, is the oldest of the group by a long shot. Barret Jackman and Kent Huskins have both proven to be excellent veterans. Then there's 24-year-old Kris Russell, who we're not really sure what he is. Where does Colaiacovo fit there? That's a some sick D.
- The defense is great and Halak and tomorrow's starter, Brian Elliott have been unreal. If the forwards could capitalize a bit more, we'd have something.
- Every goal scored tonight happened when the offensive team managed to keep the puck in deep for an extended period of time. Every time this happens, a team scores or the defensive team takes a penalty. During a defensive-zone scramble, the Blues have got to be better about dumping the puck out, even if it means taking an icing.
- The shootout is a lame gimmick that has run its course. I'd be happier with a well-earned tie tonight than a stupid shutout decision.
Blackhawks tomorrow. Get your game face on now.