The Blues have scored at least five goals twice already this year. They've been overwhelming solid defenses, they've been overwhelming bad defenses, and they've had an answer for every kind of offense. That answer has been Jaroslav Halak. Even during the Blues' occasional defensive brain-farts, he's been a wall in net.
Defensive lapses haven't been the territory of the defense, however. It's mostly been the shaky second line of Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, and Chris Stewart. Roy and Stewart have wound up on the point sheet more than once this season, but they all have been on the ice for more goals against the Blues than for. Morrow was on ice for only 10:38 Saturday night in the Blues' 5-3 win over the Rangers. The only player that got less time was Ryan Reaves; Vladimir Sobotka got nearly five more minutes Saturday than Morrow did. Roy was out for 12:10, and Stewart was on-ice for 11:59.
Hitch is limiting the ice time of his defensive liabilities, and he's therefore limiting the chances of the other team. Until the "second line" (which is playing like a third one and getting their ice time as well) picks it up and starts playing like they need to, their scoring contributions won't have nearly the impact of the third line of Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrik Berglund, and Jaden Schwartz.
The Blues have beaten the Sharks six of their last seven games, doubling up on scoring 20-10. The odds are in their favor. In his last two starts against the Sharks Halak has one shutout and a .50 GAA.
If I were you, I'd tune into the Blues game tonight over the Cards. There'll be more scoring, fewer panic attack opportunities, and the chance for a scrum or two. Game four's not a clincher; tune in to the game that's going to be a good time.
This is your GameDay Thread. Let's keep Joe Thornton from scoring four goals. Let's keep our eyes on the NLCS scoreboard AND on the ice. Let's Go Blues.