Ok, so maybe the Red Wings and Blues do have a rivalry.
Somehow Detroit was able to pull off a win for the first time since last season on Tuesday night. I'm not usually one to make excuses, but the Blues sure looked like they played a game in St. Louis last night, traveled and played again tonight. They got out to a physical start in the first, withstood some increased pressure by Detroit in the second and held a 2-1 lead in the third. And then the legs got a little heavy, the skates moved a little less often and the Wings pounced.
To put it into perspective how rare this was for the Blues to not earn a point when leading after two, it was the first time in the Ken Hitchcock era that it happened. That's kind of depressing.
The Blues were in Detroit. That means the bullets are flying, right?
- Two power play goals for the Blues. That had to be a dream, right?
- In the first period when the Blues were really controlling the flow of the game, they did a great job of disrupting the Wings' puck possession game plan. Detroit had to dump the puck into the offensive zone frequently. The neutral zone was a tight-checking, physical place. They had no momentum down the middle and were routinely steered to the outer edges of the Blues' zone. It was great.
- Matt D'Agostini is going to get some coaching after taking two rather cheap (read dumb) penalties that helped turn the momentum towards the Wings.
- The third goal for the Wings was a total screen job. Unfortunately the screener on Brian Elliott was Carlo Colaiacovo. Oops. Like I said, legs were heavy.
- I think there will be a motivated team when the Blues return to the Motor City on Saturday night. They have some mistakes to make up for after this one.
- Injuries. Just when B.J. Crombeen came back, Kris Russell left this contest. Ryan Reaves was just placed on the injured list. Vladimir Sobotka still isn't back. This middle of the season has been brutal in recent years for the Blues in terms of player health. Looks like we're entering that stretch again. Organizational depth and staying healthy is huge right now.
- I will say that Jimmy Howard is a much better goaltender than I thought he would be. His neck beard, however, looks uncomfortable.
Crack one open. There might be a little holiday cheer leftover to forget what could have been tonight.