Ryan Miller let in a squeezably soft goal last night that proved all that the Blackhawks would need to win. No one was happy. Most of my twitter timeline erupted with either "Dammit, Miller" or "there's the soft goal of the game." Not confidence building. Somehow, though, Miller maintained his confidence (the one that matters) and went on to block the next 23 shots.
If you look at the score, you may notice that it has a zero where the Blues' goals go. Unless the league has a rule where the goaltender can suit up and play forward at the same time he's in net, that goose egg is not on Miller.
9. Not having a second line center
8. Having Steve Ott as our first line center out of necessity (though his FO% is good, I will give him that)
7. Having Derek Roy in the box instead of old fart Brenden Morrow
6. Officials (lol just kidding please don't do that)
5. Patrik Berglund missing a wide open net (or Vladimir Sobotka. Or Jaden Schwartz)
4. Maxime Lapierre missing a wide open net
3. Ken Hitchcock throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks as a form of determining lines
2. Having a team FO% of 41. Kudos to Ott (70%) and Berglund (60%); what the hell Sobotka (29% - I'll assume pre-injury) and Lapierre (36% )?
And the number one reason that the Blues lost last night...
1. The power play.
Seriously. The PP is awful; it's only balanced out because Chicago's PP has been awful as well. If the Blues figure out how to score when the Blackhawks are short one fewer player (or even two!), they win that game last night. The Hawks still look discombobulated and last night played one of the worst games I've seen them play since the Winnipeg Jets beat them 3-1 back on January 26th, where they just stopped playing in the third period and rolled out the red carpet for a much worse team.
If the Jets can manage three third period goals against a Hawks team that looks confused and lost on home ice, then so can the Blues.
Tomorrow isn't in the bag, but fixing the FO% and PP would go a long way to helping the Blues come home with a 3-1 series lead.