Sitting on the bench was the only time tonight that Andy McDonald wasn't dangerous.
Now that's a roadie. Give these Blues nearly two days to rest and it doesn't matter if they are at home on the road, playing a great team, a good team or a great team that is struggling. The Sharks, to be fair, didn't bring a very Shark-like game tonight. Lots of, as Coach Cock likes to call them, passengers on the San Jose side. Those guys are now 2-7-1 in their last 10 and in danger of falling to third in their conference if Dallas keeps playing the way they can.
Which is not to take anything away from the good guys, because the Blues played a hard game and dominated in nearly every way you want to look at the game. Keep going the way they did tonight and the points available in this home stretch of Chicago on Tuesday, Anaheim on Thursday and Columbus on Saturday looks like an unattended cooler full of frosty beers: tempting and available for the taking.
Bang bang bang. Hell no, I'm not out of bullets:
- David Perron continues to look strong and I don't mind him taking the odd retaliation penalty when someone gets up around his head with a cheapie. Now for the bad news: He is a home town guy. His has 21 points in 23 games at the DrinkScotch but just nine points in 18 games on the road. That may be a function of the line matching that goes on between coaches and the advantage goes to the home team, but if that's the case, The Cock needs to move him around a little more.
- The Blues win all four against the Sharks this year. It seems like every year that kind of thing happens and it's inexplicable. This one isn't all that surprising though, as the Blues always get up to play the Sharks. Obviously, the feeling just is not mutual. I'd tell those guys that it isn't 2006 anymore, but if they can't figure out the Blues are for real, that's on them.
- That first goal with the fluky bounce that turned into an almost embarrassing tap-in for Andy McDonald is a sure sign that this isn't the same kind of hell we have suffered through as Blues fans of late. That's the kind of stuff that used to happen TO us. Now those things are happening FOR us. It's true that the hardest working team usually gets the luckiest bounces and that's true here. It was goofy and fluky, but if Happy Meal isn't busting his ass into the zone, he doesn't get that easy goal either.
- I was looking at the players on the ice when Kevin Shattenkirk popped in his power play goal and thought that the Blues are finally the team we've hoped management would build. That five-man unit was Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo, T.J. Oshie, David Backes and David Perron. That's a lot of promising young guys who have all seemingly figured it all out at the same time. The Blues are constructed to have a good, young core group for a long time. Now all management has to do is fill in the role players and the crusty veterans like they did this year through free agency and this team can compete legitimately for years.
- Jaroslav Halak allowed one crappy goal. Beyond that it's hard to find any fault with the way he worked his game tonight. The shorthanded stop against Patrick Marleau lifted one team and deflated the other. He made some great stops and, even better, lots of stops that he made look routine. He was also helped, again, by a very dedicated defense that cleared rebounds before they could become second chances and helped out immensely during the scrambles.
- T.J. Oshie has to be the guy wearing the weenie hat tonight. I think the "put up or shut up" contract the Blues gave him last summer was a motivator for young No. 74, but I'm really hoping that what we're seeing is The Evolution of the Osh. Let's hope he's gotten his alleged nightly partying out of his system and realizes that those good times will always be there, but they're best saved for the off-season and during breaks in the schedule. If this is an awakened Oshie, the kid's hustle and playmaking and relentless approach to each shift is going to be a joy to watch for the rest of his career. Keep doing what you're doing kid; the money and good times will follow in trace.
Lots of other good stuff to talk about - you guys bring it up in the comments. That's what they're for.