Obviously, the residual story from tonight will be Chris Stewart's hit on Niklas Kronwall that earned him a five minute major and a game misconduct. I was still outside wrapping up the paper sales, so I did not see it myself. The consensus of the people who were seated around me, though, was that the penalty was warranted and that it looked likely that Stewart earned himself a suspension.
As for the rest of the game, why don't we give you some discussion points using some bulletpoints?
- Billy Brian Elliott had yet another great game in net tonight. Before the game he led the NHL in GAA at 1.49. After tonight his GAA is 1.43. His save percentage is 94.7%. He is 7-1 on the season, so it's not like he's one of these early season stat leaders who has only played two games. As AverageJoe and I were discussing tonight, Elliott is not some washed up journeyman who is having a nice streak. He is just 26-years-old. Jaroslav Halak is 26 and we're all calling him the young franchise goalie of the team. I'm not saying that it's not true, I'm just saying that Elliott is forcing all of us to re-evaluate exactly what he is at this point of his career.
- The Red Wings, whose fans think the league is always conspiring against them, drew six power plays tonight, one major and five minors, a total of 15 minutes with the man advantage. As Chris Kerber said during the postgame, the Blues "got Winged" in the third period, as every stick check or stumbling Red Wing was called a penalty. I don't know how those fans can complain about anything, but they always find a way, don't they?
- Speaking of the penalty kill, the Blues did not allow a goal during those 15 minutes shorthanded, playing an aggressive and confident game. It's not often that you can say the Wings' power play looks shaky and unorganized, but the Blues' persistence and ability to constantly tip passes and block shots definitely contributed.
- Speaking of special teams, the Blues scored just 11 seconds into their first power play tonight, so I guess Ken Hitchcock's claim that he could fix the unit in one practice sure looks like it wasn't just a bunch of bluster. As one guy up in the cheap seats said, "I think Hitch should just walk around on the bench with his cock out and dare people to say something to him about it."
- Any win against the Wings feels good, but this was no lucky victory, The Blues played hard and fast in all three zones again and outshot Detroit 37-22. We were all worried that Hitchcock Hockey was going to be 1999 Dallas Stars, neutral zone trap, hockey. The Cock assured us all that he has evolved as the game has evolved. In his first four games, I'd have to say that it seems he has. The Blues use speed and lots of short, crisp passes to escape their zone and to get through the neutral zone and the attack is creative and aggressive. The defense is always looking for a chance to jump up into the play, especially Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo. Both young blueliners were deep in the offensive zone multiple times tonight and that causes chaos for the opponents' defense. The Blues record playing Cock Hockey is 3-0-1, which is great, but they style they play is fun to watch too.
Florida on Thursday, so lots of words and jokes between here and there. For now, do your thing in the comments, because clearly I have left a lot out tonight.