Hard hitting, check.
Fans holding their breath for 20 minutes at a time, check.
This game was intense. That is literally the only word that my oxygen deprived mind can come up with to describe this game. It was said to set the tone for the next 4 the Blues will play against the Hawks, and Boy did it. This was a playoff atmosphere, but more than that it was a Rivalry atmosphere.
Blackhawks fans (The terror of the earth) like to look down on our team as the little red headed cousin of the hawks. They love to downplay our rivalry to a little more then a footnote of our storied history with the team, but yet their only defense on the matter is the classic: well how many cups do you have? First off, Find a better insult. Second, the rivalry is alive and well, The Blues proved it tonight out on that ice.
The first period was a slow start for our Boys of the Note. The fuckhawks held momentum and puck possession for a good 10 mins, much like the first period of the season opener. Our boys were overly excited and it seemed to get the best of them at the start. Chris Stewart and Sheldon Brookbank, (seriously his name is Sheldon) set off the first half with a short scrap. From there, the blackhawks held the momentum. But the little Russian tank that could struck first, Sniping a beautiful goal past Corey Crawford.
Kandy Kane matched Sanko's goal shortly after a questionable hit by Maxim Lapierre, landing him in the box for boarding. The Blues amped up the pressure taking 6 shots on net and holding Chicago to just 1 shot in the last 2 minutes and 59 seconds of the period. The boys took the 1-1 tie into the locker room and prepared for the next period.
The tension rose in the second and third. As time ticked away scrums and chatter became a staple at each stoppage of play. After a drawn out stalemate, A power play advantage allowed David Backes to redirect Alex Pietrangelo's shot from the blue line taking back the lead.
After a bullshit non-call on "Goldenboy" Jonathan Toews, Jaden Schwartz took a hooking penalty. Giving Toes the chance to sneak the puck past Jaroslav Halak tieing the game up 2-2. From there the Blues matched Chicago shot for shot and hit for hit. Tempers flared but no other fights occurred. The tie stood until late in the third when Alexander Steen led a 3 on 1 down the ice and blasted the puck through Crawford's five hole with 21 seconds remaining in the game.
The game was a wonderful addition to our early season; as Hildy posted to me on twitter it was the best yet. The Blues came into the game with the opportunity to show that they were capable of not only beating a cup champion but keeping up with them. As NBC was quick to point out, the Blues are not as skilled as the Hawks. That may be true, we don't have the Towes and Kane type stars, but we are capable of keeping those types to the fringes of the game and still putting the puck in the back of the net. It is just one game, but the Blues set the tone for the series and I can't wait to see what happens in Chicago on the 17th.
#RoyWatch: Still stands at 3 (1 Goal 2 Assists). However ee ended the game with 4 shots on net. Keep 'em coming Derek!
Celebrate tonight dear Blues fans and toast a glass and shout a hearty Fuck the Hawks!