The Calgary Flames looked like they were actually playing for pride tonight... at first. The initial twenty minutes of the game were evenly matched up, but somewhere during the intermission the Blues' switch got flipped from "meh" to "beast mode." I'll assume that had something to do with Ryan Reaves.
Tonight was Reaves' first multi-point game and first multi-goal game. His first goal was classic tough working fourth line material to open scoring at 3:21 of the second. You want statement goal? Here:
What statement does that make, you might ask? I think it pretty much says "I'm Ryan Reaves, and I'm here to play. Deal with it." The Flames did not. After Andy McDonald scored to break a 1-1 tie, and Alexander Steen potted a power play goal right off of the faceoff at 15:27, Reaves decided to add an extra clause to his statement:
That wasn't the punctuation, though. The punctuation came in this fight with Tim Jackman which was, for the Calgary player, pretty bone-headed and ill-advised.
Reaves was the heart of this team tonight, and it seemed like everyone drew off of the fourth line's energy. Sure, they were playing for home ice (and still are) but this turned into something more than that. This game has the makings of a momentum game to carry the Blues into the playoffs -- or at the very least past the Chicago Blackhawks and into fourth place.
In all of the excitement, it might be kind of easy to forget Brian Elliott. He got his fifth win at home tonight, and fifth at home where the Blues only allowed one goal. Also, he set franchise and NHL records with 10 wins in April. Sure, that record was helped out by the fact that the season went on two weeks longer in April than it usually does, but that's not the point. The point is that Brian Elliott isn't playing like he did last year. He's playing better than he did last year. God willing and the creek don't rise, the Blues might just be a force to reckon with in the playoffs.