The St. Louis Blues came out in the first period with a lot of missing forwards. Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka, and David Backes all missed tonights game. Because of this Hitch got creative and brought Carlo Colaiacovo up from defense to play on the left wing on the offense side of the game. They appeared to play what I like to call Scramble Hockey throughout the first. It lacks the flow and creativity that Herb Brooks is oh so quotable when refuting to the great game we call hockey. It is very stop and start and just down right lacksidasical. Scramble hockey is desperate hockey. The frankenteam, if you could really call it that, had a hard time staying in sync with one another. The Blues could not seem to stay out of the penalty box and their best chance all period came on the PK. At 9:38 The first Sharks Goal would go in. Joe Pavelski would get a lucky bounce off of the boards behind the net and would put the puck past Jaroslav Halak. That wouldn’t be the only lucky bounce of the period. Halak would give up a second goal off the back boards at 12:34. The period would end with the Blues down by 2.
The first intermission seemed to end far to soon for the Blues. They clearly did not have enough time to let the words of the coach staff sink in. The period was filled with sloppy play and careless mistakes but the team from St. Louis. This looked much like a inexperienced young hockey club, rather then the exuberant power team we have grown quite accustomed to at the start of the season. At the 2:00 mark Brent Burns would get another fucking goal past Halak. At this point it appeared that Backup goaltender Brian Elliott was prepping to replace Halak in the net. Halak however would stay in. Every chance the Blues seemed to get would somehow end in a bad bounce, bad pass, a Sharks D in the way, or a save by Antiti Niemi. At 12:24 Barret Jackman would take a high sticking penalty against Andrew Desjardins. A penalty that was the result of a Sharks High Stick hitting Desjardins face not Jackmen’s. Luckily the Sharks could not find the back of the net. After killing off the penalty the blues would find some jump. With 4 mins and 29 seconds left Kevin Shattenkirk would get a faked shot pass from Ian Cole. Ironically he would bank the puck off of a sliding Desjardins’s shoulder past Niemi.
After the Goal with 3:11 left to play in the second Patrik Berglund would leave the ice after taking an awkward hit to the knee. He would immediately head down the locker room runway. Life would spur back into the skates of the St. Louis Blues with in the last seconds of the game. After a near 20 second scrum in the corner resulting in matching slashing penalties at 19:27 for Derek Roy and Tommy Wingels for slashing one another. Jay Bouwmeester would take advantage of the 4 on 4 tilt, taking a slapper from the blue line and scoring at 19:35. The blues would cut the sharks lead down by one and earn back some momentum.
The third period would see the blues controlling the play and taking advantage of the shift in momentum from the late second period surge. Half way through the third the refs would miss an obvious high sticking call on the Sharks after Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a nice whack at the face of Alexander Pietrangelo, unleashing the blood of the defensive god. Shortly after the non call, the sharks would yet again take a 2 goal lead on the Blues. At 8:19 of the period Martin Havlat would get a good rebound off of the goal post and put a wrister on it, beating the net minder. At 2:11 the blues would pull Halak for an extra man. While in the corner, Logan Couture would put the puck over the glass and get the automatic delay of game call with 2:01 left in regulation. The Blues would utilize their time out and discuss strategy. The face off would take place in the Sharks zone at Niemi’s stick side. The Sharks would win the face-off and take a few volleys at the Blues empty net. With one minute left the Blues would take desperate shot after desperate shot failing to get it past Niemi.
The game was a hard one for the Blue and Yellow. Havlet would be the difference maker of the game unfortunately after putting the Sharks back up on top with a two goal lead. With the injuries mounting up and all of the Blues’ difference maker type players sitting in the quite room or press box is taking a toll on the play on the ice. There are some positives to think about though. The blues are just 5 points back in the standings with 4 games at hand. Another plus is not meeting San Jose again in the regular season. Hopefully the puppies and their magical non scrappy doo puppy power can heal our captain and the Prince of Whales and Sobe quick and we can get back to business. Drink a beer and shake this one off!
Games Three Stars
Third: Jay Bouwmeester
Second: Joe Pavelski
First: Martin Havlet
Standing at 23. However Roy almost had a nice shorthanded chance on Niemi but Brent Burns poke checked it away.
Bluenotes from Twitter
The table couldn't be more set for Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund to take a step forward. Go at it gents. -CCR— Beyond Checkerdome (@ByndCheckerdome) December 18, 2013
Good lord, seriously? STOP LIVING UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS, BLUES.— Laura (@hildymac) December 18, 2013
If I have to sit thru this game, I should at least win the 50/50... I'll need it for the therapy. #stlblues— Hitch's Hat (@HitchsHat) December 18, 2013
Berglund off to the #stlblues dressing room hunched over.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) December 18, 2013
St Louis Blues have outscored their opponents 40-20 for +20 in the second period. The largest + differential in NHL. #stlblues— STL Blues History (@STLBlueshistory) December 18, 2013
Everyone take a deep breath. Blues only 5 points back with 4 games in hand.— Brian Simpson (@bmsimp) December 18, 2013
If they screw this up on Hitchcock's Birthday they better provide a great present for Christmas #stlblues— Matt Moffitt (@mdoubleft) December 18, 2013
Well, if we see these bastards in the playoffs, no chance of being over-confident from eliminating them before … SIGH— Timothy Cron (@CrossCheckRaise) December 18, 2013
I expected the #StLBlues to get destroyed tonight. They did not. Moral victories are shit.— Chrystler @YuleLog (@KingDonutI) December 18, 2013
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