One of my favorite bits to write for Game Time is the GM Translator series where we take the words of the general manager or team president and translate what we really think they're saying. And usually it's a line of bullshit. When the Blues front office said when Andy McDonald returned from injury, it would be like adding a player at the trade deadline. Pretty sure the Translator called that a fabrication. Don't tell the Translator, but it was dead wrong.
McDonald is the sparkplug for the power play. He's created plays on the rush. He's now killing penalties, something he would have rarely if ever done under Davis Payne. And his play on the second Blues goal was spectacular. He motored the puck into the zone to the half boards, spun around and put it to the point, it came back to him and he centered it about as fast as any player in the league could and Patrik Berglund just had to redirect the puck softly through Jonas Hiller's legs. The Blues would not be in first place without McDonald's return.
So that's a 3-1 win for the Blues. I have a load. Of bullets.
- As I was watching the Hawks game with Gallagher on Tuesday night, he compared the Blues' game to that of a python. When the game starts, they don't have to jump out to a fast start or score first. But as the game goes along, they exert pressure down the length of the ice. They squeeze the forwards, the defense, the goaltender. And then they really start to go to work. When you see the Blues doubling the shot total of the opposition through the first two periods nearly every game, you can see it happening. No let up. And then they eat 'em. Ok, that worked for most of the comparison. You get the point.
- The Blues have killed 35 consecutive penalties. That's a nice streak to have. It goes well with the Blues unbeaten streak in games where they score at least three goals in the game. That one has gone so long, I don't even know what the number is any more.
- On the television broadcast, they were trying to figure out if David Backes or a Ducks player tipped the third goal for the Blues. They slowed it down, they circled it. Darren Pang said the only real way to tell was to look at the players' sticks and look for any signs of vulcanized rubber burned onto the tape. He asked Bernie Federko at ice level to grab Backes' stick. Bernie said he was sure "there's some DNA evidence on that stick." Sometimes reality is funnier than comedy.
- Two power play goals for the Blues. Remember when they were 30th in the NHL on the power play? Seems like last season. Told you Andy McDonald was important.
- Ben Bishop is a good dude. When the native of St. Louis was traded to the Ottawa Senators, he took his demotion to the AHL in stride. He was called up this week. The other night he won his first start for the Senators. On Thursday, he won his second...against the New York Rangers in regulation. As Darren Pang might say, way to come through, big fella! That means not only with the win do the they hold on to first in the Western Conference, your St. Louis Blues are first overall in the entire National Hockey League.
- The game was over the last two minutes when Ian Cole took another penalty. When talking to reporters the other day, he mentioned that he was helping the PK units by taking dumb penalties. Once again, mission accomplished.
- The crowd really wanted an empty-netter by Berglund and then Backes. Don't get greedy, folks.
That's all. First overall in the NHL. Don't start engraving that worthless President's Trophy just yet. If Gallagher shows up, he might have more of his observations. Otherwise, you have the floor.
Why not the St. Louis Blues.