The Blues record at home just got a little more impressive. Season ticket holders have only seen three games in person where the Blues got zero points. That's pretty crazy, especially for season ticket holders who only saw 12 home wins in all of 2005-2006. But these wins at home haven't been simple, third period yawners because the Note were up by so much going into the last 20 minutes.
It made me think, when was the last time that the last minute wasn't a nail-biter or a situation where the other team had their goalie pulled? The answer is that it has been quite a while. Empty netter against San Jose, overtime win against Colorado. A 1-0, goalie-pulled win against Los Angeles, a shootout win against Pittsburgh, an empty-netter against Buffalo. Two goalie-pulled 1-0 wins against Edmonton and Dallas. The shootout win against Minnesota and the OT loss to Vancouver.
Back on Saturday, January 7th, the Blues clobbered Colorado 4-0. It has been a month and a half since the Blues won easily at home. In that six weeks they only failed to get two points one time and that time they at least got one.
Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.
The Blues are learning how to win ugly and to protect leads and to win the close ones, even when it's all-out, desperation offense from the other team. You know, playoff hockey.
It was nice to run the Isles out on a rail tonight, but honestly, it made for kind of a boring third period. #FrontRunnerProblems
- Kevin Shattenkirk, welcome to relief. You think he wasn't happy to finally get back on the scoresheet? Check the replay - that smile was clearly visible up in my cheap seats. Watch his game get back to the confident, calm, fluid game it was earlier this year.
- Both Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund wound up on partial breakaways tonight and neither cashed in. Grip it much? I still think there's no way either get traded (buy low, sell high, y'all), but missing partial breaks are the kinds of things that make struggling players say, "See? It's just not my year." As long as they keep working and doing other things, I'm convinced their games will work themselves out. But a couple more goals would have been nice too.
- Oof, those Islanders. Back when the Blues were terrible, so were the Islanders. Now the Blues are better, the Isles still suck and, even worse, they don't even have the same promise that the Edmonton Oilers now do. Islander fans are some resilient bastards, no?
- Brian Elliott now has 19 wins and remains atop the NHL leaderboard for goalies in goals against average and in save percentage. The Blues starter, Jaroslav Halak, is also top-5 in the league in save percentage now and is knocking on the door of top-5 goals against average. He also has more shutouts than Elliott. In the minors, Ben Bishop is too good to stay with the organization, Jake Allen is considered the best prospect and junior prospect Jordan Binnington is winning accolades for his skills. When the hell did the Blues figure out how to staff the goaltending position? Crazy.
- Hey, remember how T.J. Oshie was a middling NHL player who was a great third liner but kind of a weak second liner? Goal and two assists tonight to take his totals to 15 and 24 - well on pace for his career high. He also managed to stay on his feet most of the game tonight, so there's that too. He's also plus-15. And he's 25 years old. Safe to say the "put up or shut up" contract the Note gave him this summer did the trick. Oshie's career is just getting on track and his Blues tenure is very much solidified.
I could go on and on at this point, but it's probably enough words from me for one day. Add your comments about the game and be sure to come back to read what a Blues/Isles fan had to say about Coach Hitchcock in tonight's issue. I'll post it for tomorrow.
Here's your game film: