Raise your hand if you did not have a heart attack at some point tonight.
Playoff hockey is the greatest thing in the world, especially when it shows your team's dominance. It is not the greatest thing in the world, however, when it shows your team's shortcomings. Tonight's did both, but the Blues won 2-1, so I suppose it evens out.
The Blues aren't intimidated by anything. Barret Jackman blocked any shot coming his way and hit anything that moved.
They flat out controlled the play for most of the game. Things had just 19 regulation shots on goal to the Blues' 36. LA was lucky Jonathan Quick came to play tonight, because they stood a real chance of losing that game in a blowout.
The fourth line was out there in situations where no fourth line had any business being on the ice, namely when leading by just a goal and during overtime. I really can't think of another team who has a fourth line that is playing as well and as responsibly as the Blues'. They're out there not just because they bug the hell out of the Kings, but because they create chances. Adam Cracknell was the third star of the game. If they gave out five stars, the other two would have been Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves, who just plowed over everything in sight.
Robin Regher was kicked in the face on accident by David Backes. He's ok, but his nose looked a little broken. Obviously, the good part about all of this is that he missed maybe two shifts, max.
Brian Elliott only allowed one goal again. He's allowed more than one goal twice this month, out of 14 games played.
Alex Steen won this game, first with his goal in the first period:
And then with this beauty of a short handed goal. Kevin Shattenkirk wound up getting a four minute double minor for high sticking, and just when everyone thought the game was done, this happened:
If the Blues win I just hope it isn't in a stupid goal. If the @lakings win I hope the goal is the stupidest goal ever.— All The Kings Men (@KingsMenPodcast) May 1, 2013
Just watch this on a never-ending loop.
Really, just two things. First off, Jonathan Quick was (generally) excellent in this game. That doesn't mean that he's so good that he can block shots from going into an empty net. The Blues have to score. They've had issues doing this against good teams all month; stop squeezing the stick so hard and get the puck in the net so you don't give all of your fans a heart attack.
Secondly, if for whatever reason another game goes into OT, the Blues really need to find some way to regroup and come out strong. They had their tail between their legs during overtime, and if not for Quick's mistake, this game could have ended up going in the other direction.
Thursday night should be fun - the game was rough and tumble with great goaltending, which is exactly what was promised. Now that the Blues won game one and have some momentum, I very much wonder if any pundits who predicted a quick Blues loss would like to change that prediction. I can't see them dropping the next four games in a row.
See everyone Thursday! Grab a lozenge for your throats - I have a feeling you need it.