Being shorthanded 4-3 in overtime is deadly nearly every time, but when your $250 space-age technology stick also folds in half during the 4-on-3, you have essentially just forfeit the game. Luckily for us, the NHL still employs a ridiculous gimmick point, so the Blues were able to bank at least something out of this hard-fought, tough battle.
That said, Jean Hebert, you are an awful referee for making that borderline call late in the third. The Blues earned one point tonight. The Canucks also earned one point. Hebert earned one, too, he just gave his to Vancouver.
Damn these bullets are pointy....
- The Blues again wound up north of 30 on shot total (33) while holding their opponent to significantly fewer (21). I think the Blues controlled big chunks of the game when they played their big body, get to the net game. When they tended to look more unfocused and scrambly, I attribute that to the Canucks exerting their will on the Blues. The Canucks play a very aggressive game and try to take away any skating room, forcing lots of passes and dumping of the puck. When that's working, they control the game pretty well.
- I have lots of theories, as you all know, and most are crafted in a way that are basically unprovable. Here's another one: Whe a team's power play unit is good, the the game clock seems to slow down. Ever notice that some other teams' power plays seem to take forever? Good power play unit. The Blues power play has been, for years now, a unit that seems to get out there, skate around, get the puck out of their own zone again and then you look up and there are 26 seconds left on the advantage. Lately, however, the Blues power play has seemed to lengthen their minutes. They have controlled the puck and kept it in the zone and slowly applied more and more pressure. Not tonight. The Canucks' aggressive penalty kill had the Blues using about 30 seconds of every power play, while their own man-add seemed to get about three minutes each time.
- Quick impression of Maxim Lapierre in his altercation with Roman Polak: "Oh no you don't! Drop your gloves, you! Oh, NO! Oh no oh no oh no ohnoohnoohnoohno! Please, no! Please stop! Stop! STOP! STOPSTOPSTOP! PLEASE MAKE HIM STOP! MAKE HIM STOP!"
- I have a hard time getting too upset about an OT loss to Vancouver tonight. They're a tough team and they played a good game. So did the Blues. I think if Alex Steen and Barret Jackman are able to go tonight, we'd have seen an even better game, but it's hard to complain about injuries, too. It happens. That said, a couple of us were talking tonight about why the Blues didn't have any skaters make the All-Star Game. Sure, the team doesn't have any true stars, but that's kind of the strength of the team. If the Blues were counting on T.J. Oshie or David Backes to score all of the team's goals, they'd be a lot easier to shut down. This team, if you shut down Oshie and Backes, can beat you with goals from Chris Stewart or David Perron. It seems like every game someone different steps up and helps the team win. Tonight Jason Arnott stepped up and got both of the team's goals. A couple bounces go their way and this is a walk-away win because of his efforts.
- Two shorthanded breakaways on one PK? And neither go in? Come on, man. Of course, Backes is going to be up in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling in his bedroom thinking, "Why didn't I go blocker high?" and Oshie is going to be up staring at the ceiling of some girl's apartment bedroom ceiling thinking, "Why wouldn't that damn puck lay flat?"
It's a game of bounces and broken sticks and rolling pucks. Tonight they all seemed to go the other way. Back at it Saturday against the struggling Wild(s), so we've got little time to moan about what could have been. Then again, in the internet world, that's a ton of time to moan about what could have been. Feel free to do so and to add your bulletpoints in the comments. I don't own them all, you know.
Bonus: post-game from Oshie, Cole and Elliott. Lots of good perspective here, especially regarding making the right decisions, the "big boys" in the conference and things that suck.