Dear Brian Elliott,
I'd like to write this open letter to you to apologize for a story I wrote that was posted on this humble little website at midnight of Oct. 7, 2011. I wrote 24 separate previews that ran once an hour for 24 hours ranking the roster from 24th to first in importance. I'm sure you didn't see it. That's probably for the best. I did rank you 19th in importance for the team. But come on. No one saw this coming.
Tonight you posted your third straight shutout, a 3-0 win over the pesky Nashville Predators. You now have nine shutouts on the season...tops in the NHL. You also lead in goals-against average and save percentage. If you were the starter on this team, you'd be a shoe-in for the Vezina Trophy given to the league's best goaltender. Hell, you will get some votes even as the backup.
So once again, I would like to publicly apologize for not thinking you were a good player or more important than 18 other guys on the team. You have proved me and every other team that didn't offer you a guaranteed NHL contract (including the Blues, mind you) this off season.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, bullets are coming at your eyeballs. Read them.
- That was win No. 30 at home. That's a new franchise record. They still have three home games left.That's hard to believe.
- So let me get this straight. The puck is free or free enough that T.J. Oshie can push it in past Pekka Rinne. It's in the back of the net. There' s no goalie interference. The whistle didn't blow. But that's not a goal? Officiating, the NHL has it.
- I am convinced that David Perron pulled off the goalie deke from NHL 95. Now someone on Twitter said he thought it was on the 94 version, but I'm fairly certain it worked better on 95. But that's not the point. The point is that David Perron is a Sega Genesis video game character. He got the puck in the area of the right post. He skated parallel in front of the net. Rinne started moving to his right and decided to flop down to cover the net. Except Perron still had the puck. And he kept skating until he was around Rinne for an easy goal. I felt like I was in a dorm room playing video game hockey in Kirksville, Mo.
- That was a playoff atmosphere at the game. Kevin Shattenkirk took a crosschecking penalty giving Patric Hornqvist the business after that dick was running around stirring shit up. And he deserved some retribution. But that meant a power play the last two minutes of the game. Even though they were up 3-0, the Blues wanted the shutout. Kent Huskins dove along the boards to clear the puck. Team first.
- Loved Oshie getting a goal after his first was waved off. #refyousuck
- The excitement level for every goal is getting ratcheted up. I yelled loudly in my kitchen for the first goal. I freaked out my kids on the second. Yet, I'm still firmly in the camp of cautiomistic Blues fans.
I don't even know what to talk about anymore. The Blues are a few points away from clinching the Central Division. They remain in the driver's seat for the Western Conference. The President's Trophy will probably come down to the last weekend of the season. Which is next weekend. And then the playoffs start April 11. Almost there, kids.
What did I miss? And why not the St. Louis Blues?