The Blues had another multiple-goal lead in the third period on Monday night. They gave up too many saves and good scoring opportunities and shots in the final 10 minutes including a frantic final few minutes. And yet the Blues hung on not only for the win but a 2-0 shutout. It's about damn time.
Patrik Berglund and David Perron scored for the Blues as Ty Conklin made 34 saves. He's still rockin' the fu manchu mustache while Chris Mason wore the 1990s gaudy Blues hat on the bench. That's what I call synergy.
These games against Calgary this year have been tremendous. Back on Nov. 5 Dion Phaneuf scored the game winner in a 2-1 win in overtime in St. Louis. The Blues got revenge on home ice on Dec. 15 with a 4-3 win. You might remember T.J. Oshie got the game winner on the same night Brett Hull was honored for going into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Then the Blues won 2-1 in a shootout on Dec. 23 securing the franchise's first sweep of three straight games in Western Canada. Every game has been close, hard-fought and entertaining as hell. It's actually disappointing the Blues and Flames won't meet again the rest of this season. Well, regular season. Sorry, couldn't help myself.
A few thoughts before we move on to Vancouver on Wednesday.
- Cam Janssen will not back down from anyone. In the first he fought Brian McGrattan, a guy who towers over the pint-sized fighter. In the second he stood up for himself against Brandon Prust. In the first bout he took some punishment, but stuck to his game plan of extending the fight to wear the bigger guy down. He even waved off the linesmen to keep it going. Amazing.
- Ty Conklin, like Paul Kariya, hates St. Louis. On home ice, Conklin is 1-5-0 with a 4.25 goals-against average with a save percentage of 86.7 percent. Ugggghlee. On the road? How about 6-1-1 with a miniscule 1.74 goals-against and 94.8 save percentage. Guess where he got his two shutouts this season? Kariya almost got an empty-net goal tonight in attempt to rub it in that he has yet to score this season in St. Louis.
- I miss David Backes.
- Whatever Davis Payne is saying to this team right now, it's working. They rebounded from a disappointing loss Saturday night where they gave away another late lead. Oshie is playing center for the first time in his NHL career. Tkachuk is playing on a scoring line. They miss Carlo Colaiacovo on the power play. And they still played one of their better games of the season. Give that man a longer contract.
- Any endorsement of Davis Payne getting a long-term contract is null and void if the Blues dont' contend for the playoffs.
So Blues fans, fair commenters, jump in and tell us what you think about the Blues in Cal-Gary. What are you seeing with this team right now? If you haven't jumped in before, these game wrap-ups are a nice place to get your feet wet.