Four Ducks somehow manage to keep Jaden Schwartz from scoring. On this play.
Just be glad the Blues are still above that fray that is going on down in the 4-5-6 spots of the Western Conference seedings. The last few years, we have had to watch helplessly and count every single point gained and lost and worry about how the Blues could climb into a playoff spot. Even with the loss to the soon-to-be-golfing Ducks, the Note sit in first place in the Conference and the league.
Which is not to say that it's time to get complacent, of course, it's just to say that it's nice for once to not lament a missed opportunity like tonight as if it were a live-or-die game.
Pregame Jamie Langenbrunner said in an interview that the Blues have set goals to win the division and to win the President's Cup. I like the lack of superstition about mentioning certain goals. I like that they have decided they want to win that basically meaningless trophy. Serious men acting seriously in naming and going after their goals.
I personally do not care about the President's Trophy. Home ice throughout the playoffs is a nice idea, but you only have to beat one team out of the East anyway in the very best possible scenario. The odds that that one team is the one team that earned more regular season points than your team? I don't know, but I do know that I'm not that worried about something that far down the road.
Frankly, I'm getting a little bored with doing wraps in bullet format, mainly because it seems like everyone does it that way these days. Then again, I don't have the time to do haikus again. Blah. You get bullets for now:
- The Ducks are not a terrible team, as their record indicates. They have quality players in Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. They have some good secondary type of players (though I should probably list Teemu Selanne as a quality player, even at 54 years of age). They have a goalie who can make great saves and give his team a chance to win games they should win (like a game where they are outshot 38-22). No idea what went wrong in Anaheim this year, but they could easily be in the playoff mix this year.
- The legend of Jaden Schwartz continues to grow. With yet another goal, I can't help but wonder how many Kariya 9 jerseys across the area are already being changed into Schwartz 9 jerseys. I guess we'll see next week at home. But let's not overlook the obvious: the kid still has a way to go in the NHL game. He has scored both goals by going to the net, which takes guts, but he has definitely shied away from contact a few times tonight as well. As a little skill guy, he is going to have to find a way to get in those gritty areas and use speed and quickness to avoid suffering a devastating hit.
- The funniest part about angry Corey Perry? He was angry at David Perron for doing an on-ice impression of how Corey Perry plays the game. Watch Perron play the game and you have to come to the conclusion that he'd be an annoying gnat to play against. He's always nagging away at guys with stick checks and setting carefully executed running picks and constantly chirping. That Corey Perry lost his mind over a guy being annoying is ironic. The fact that he backed down from his anger when confronted by Scott Nichol is hilarious. "Oh shit, I didn't know they had some sort of mean leprechaun on their team!"
- David Backes' goal was beautiful. Schwartz' was pretty. Perron's was gorgeous. But the Blues are a boring team that plays a trap and only scores boring, grinding, jam play goals.
- Hey, Saku Koivu, that's a clean hit. Next time, keep your head up and your mouth shut.
- Chris Stewart wound up with the puck on his stick in the slot and a chance to tie the game late. He double-clutched but still got of a good shot. If he stops thinking and just reacts there, it keeps the goalie from getting set and has a better chance of going in. This may seem like telling a dog to just keep on licking his own dick, but Chris Stewart: don't think.
- Had a conversation with a smart Blues fan today about the team and then he said that he thought the team should let Barret Jackman and Carlo Coaliacovo go this summer and then pick up a left-handed veteran defenseman. To which I (like always) asked, "You mean like Barret Jackman or Carlo Colaiacovo?" I think Colaiacovo goes on down the road this summer, but I'd bet that No. 5 comes back. Because who else you gonna go get to be Barret Jackman? Ian Cole could be good soon, but is he ready to assume Jackman's role and minutes yet? I don't think so.
Best thing about an avoidable loss like this is that the team can erase the memory tomorrow in Los Angeles. Is it a date?