"They are what we thought they were.... Now, if you wanna crown them, then crown their ass! But they are who were thought they were! And we let them off the hook!"
And Dennis Green might as well have been talking about Game 1 tonight. Because the Kings showed us that they are who we thought they were. And the Blues, through some sketchy play in the second and third, let them off the hook. Before the game I told a couple people that if the Blues lost, it would depend on how they lost whether I would be worried or not.
And just like the Game 1 loss to the Sharks last round, I'm not that worried. The Blues didn't play even close to their best game tonight and lost by one goal (and an empty netter, but who counts those?). If they'd played their best game and lost 3-1, I'd be freaking out a little bit.
I just found a whole bunch of bullets here. Wanna see them?
- Kevin Shattenkirk looked like he was playing scared a little tonight. I don't know why, because he has already proved he belongs in this league and on that second pairing and can handle the Kings, but he looked like he was fighting a case of the yips tonight with a couple muffed passes and weird, uncharacteristic turnovers. Calm down, kid, take a breath.
- People are going to be yelping about the refs, but not me. The Blues had 13 minutes to go and only needed one goal when they melted away half that time with six straight minutes of penalty kill. Yes, the linesman running over to tattle on T.J. Oshie for his high-stick looked a little schoolyardish, but you can't deny that it was a penalty. The stupid delay of game immediately following that kill was unfortunate, and yes, that is bar none the dumbest penalty in pro sports, but it goes both ways. hard to complain about it other than to say the whole thing should be crossed out of the rulebook next year. Losing those six minutes hurt the Blues' chances of getting it tied.
- The real killer of the game was that shorthanded goal scored by Cro-Magnon man Matt Greene. My real problem with that was that it was a real breakdown on coverage. Both Alex Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk were back with just Anze Kopitar attacking the net and somehow they both wound up behind the net with the puck out front. I thought Pietrangelo wasn't aggressive enough going to the net and certainly shouldn't have wound up where he did when the goal was scored. Matt Greene? Really? Embarrassing for both of those defenders.
- From my seats there was no way to tell if he missed an open net or if Quick got a piece of the shot, but either way he's got to want that shot back.
- Lots of weird bounces and hops that just didn't go the Blues way tonight. It's a bummer, but that's the way it goes sometimes. No reason to think they won't be better in Game 2 and going forward. In the battle of two overly-rested teams, the one coached by whichever Sutter that is standing behind the Kings bench had his guys better ready tonight. It showed in the second. In the third, Hitchcock's boys did themselves in with those penalties, a couple missed opportunities and a couple bounces they didn't get.
- Oh yeah, before I forget, Chris Stewart: any time you want to start skating like you give a shit, that'd be swell.
I'm sure I missed a few points. Fill me in on what they are in the comments.