Ah, the shootout. Bane to some, exciting to most, you singing siren of potential: the opportunity to win a game that you do not deserve to win. But the shootout can also be what it was tonight: Without Brad Boyes on the roster, Alex Steen in the lineup or T.J. Oshie in the building, a faulty hook, allowing a nearly dead fish like Minnesota to slip away from a sure catch.
And yes, Land of 10 MillionBillion Lakes, that fishing analogy was just for you.
By all stats the Blues outplayed the Wild, but if it were not for Chris Stewart's uncanny ability around the net, they might have walked away with zero points tonight rather than one. Then again, considering where we are in the season, who gives two shits about a point anyway?
Some topics for your consideration/discussion:
- Chris Stewart got the credit for both goals, both here and in the game, but that first one was off a masterful move and pass by Patrik Berglund. Maybe he doesn't need good buddy Osh in the lineup to be effective after all. That said, Stewart earned that tap-in goal. It looked easy, but only because the hard part had already been done by him. How the hell does a guy as big and dangerous around the net as Stewart get so open, on the edge of the crease, behind the defense? You know that was in the coaching staff's talking points, right? His hands are unreal around the net, but his ability to get open and make space around the net are special.
- People are ready to give up on Jaroslav Halak already. I am not one of them. I'm as frustrated as anyone when he gives up bad goals, but we should have expected that this would be a transition year for him. Want to admit it or not, he came from a better team. The Canadiens were a playoff team last year and they are this year. The Blues have not been. Of course his numbers were better there. But, as this team grows in front of him and gives him more support and he feels more comfortable, I think the wins will come and the dominant play will become more prevalent than they have been here. And if that doesn't happen? Hell, I'll help you burn all the stop signs and 41 t-shirts out by the Kung-Fu Bunny.
- It's a shame that more people aren't going to the games these days. Not only is it easier to get around inside, but the Game Time paper hasn't been funnier if you ask me (and feel free to ask me - I'm biased, but I'll tell you anyway). We've talked about it before; it's always easier to write about your team when they're doing poorly, the jokes just come easier. Throw a Oshie-skips-practice on top of that? Please. It writes itself. My favorite part of all the Oshie jokes tonight might have been from the Blues Record When feature where there were two entries: Blues Record When... Oshie drunk enough to write for us (34-32-9) and Blues Record When... Oshie sober (0-0-0).
Tomorrow up in the Pit of Dispair. We'll be back. Will you?