We'd seen this game before. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings have a thing for owning the St. Louis Blues, and they did so for 40 minutes, but could only slide one puck past Brian Elliott, and at that, it was on an early 5-on-3. Not to toot my own horn, but yours truly had something to say about it that pretty much recapitulated the whole thing:
And then the third period happened. And then shit got real.
First, they started winning puck battles that hadn't been won in the first couple periods. Then the goal from Patrik Berglund, which had to be reviewed due to a possible kicking motion (there was none).
And then . . . something seemingly impossible happened. Barret Jackman became the hero.
That was Jackman's first playoff goal of his career. And it was against last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Jonathan Quick, who reportedly was shaken up in pre-game warmups but looked none the worse for wear in this encounter.
And that was a wonderful pass by Chris Stewart. What a season that guy is still having.
We knew Quick was not going to make another horrific fuck-up like he did to end Game 1, but if you would've told me he would give up a game-winner to Barret Jackman, I'd have told you that you're fucking crazy. Alas, here we are.
The series now shifts to Southern California on Saturday night. But first, with a head-nod to one Sean Gallagher, we're gonna go old school style with some bullet points. Load the chamber:
- Brian Elliott looked incredible once again, and people are beginning to ask "Jaro Who?" again. We gave this guy up for dead a couple months ago. This resurgence has been incredible, and if the Blues are going to continue to keep the push on the Kings in this series, he needs to continue his stellar play.
- Dustin Brown was back to his former self in this one, throwing the body around and making a couple questionable hits (one of which was called for a penalty as it was pretty much out in open view). This is not to mention his seemingly controlled run on Elliott in the middle of the third. The Blues have to keep this guy away from all the important players before he strikes again. There's a good reason why I keep calling this guy "Captain Dickbag". He's starting to earn that name, and I don't like it one Goddamn bit.
- I noticed marked improvement in the play of David Perron and Patrik Berglund. Berglund's improved play was obvious, but Perron may have gone a bit unnoticed. He seems to be flying toward the net a bit more, which is what he needs to do on a more consistent basis if this team is going to make a long run. He can play in the dirty areas, he just at times seems too timid to do so.
- If the Blues play either, or both, of the games in LA like they did Thursday, they will lose both of them. You can't expect to show up in the third period and dominate and take control of a game like that, especially not against the defending champs. Play 40 minutes of dogshit hockey in Games 3 and 4, and we're looking at a series all knotted up and coming back to The 'Lou.
Game 3 is Saturday at 9pm CDT at the Staples Center. Plan your drinking schedule accordingly.
LET'S GO BLUES.