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Some From Last Year, Some From This Year: Blues Look Great, Then Shaky In Win In LA.

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Now I remember what's been missing this year.

  • Big hits and smart play from Cam Janssen.
  • David Perron scoring on a play that suggests wizardry was involved (love the post-goal stare down of the King that tried to hit him).
  • Brad Winchester and B.J. Crombeen involved in the game in whatever way is necessary, whether it be hitting, fighting or picking up the odd goalie-chasing score. In fact, both guys were but one assist away from completing the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick.
  • T.J. Oshie being T.J. Oshie with a frantic game, a sweet bar-ringer goal after a sweet goalie-demolishing move and several other great chances on the night.
  • The Blues did everything we've all been asking of them tonight, plus some. Hell, Brad Boyes took a big hit that he knew was coming to make the outlet pass that resulted in Perron's beautiful snap shot.

And then they went all 2009 St. Louis Blues Third Period on us.

With the game virtually sewn up at 4-1 and the ice tilted towards the net that Jonathan Quick had bequeathed to Erik Ersberg, the Blues allowed a goal by Dustin Brown that probably should have been stopped and a nice power play goal from the recently-cold Anze Kopitar (whose name I like to pronounce "Usual Suspects"-style as Kaiser Soze). At that point the Blues went into their standard protect the lead shell and opened the door for the Kings to pull off the improbable nine minute comeback that thankfully was not completed.

Davis Payne has been slowly tweaking this team into his own and some of the skill and creativity is creeping back into the game of the younger players, but how does he counteract this new trend of folding late in the third period? It's a matter of confidence and patience, but how do you teach that?

But before you all get all analytical in the comments, your Jon Stewart-like Moment Of Zen: