You know that term "getting a monkey off your back?" I think that the Blues pulled that off tonight.
Wow, you want excitement? No? The first eleven and a half minutes of the first period were for you! Aside from a high stick on Derek Roy by Matt Greene two minutes in, and Brenden Morrow's resulting power play goal on the double minor, it took both teams a while to get going.
The Blues didn't get their second shot until over half of the way through the period; the first shot was Morrow's goal. The Kings doubled up the Blues on shots, 13-6 (Barret Jackman had one!) in the first, and the differencemaker was Brian Elliott.
Fun fact: that was the Blues first first period goal against any team from California this year! It's something to build on.
Puck possession? Well, thanks to Robb and ExtraSkater.com, we know that's something to build on too.
Chris Stewart - his face guard can only hope to contain him! So he took it off. Hockey players, eh? I like to think that he took the guard off in anticipation of a high tempo second to balance out the lull of the first, and if he did that, he was spot on.
The fun got started when Dwight King got whistled on a trip to Brenden Morrow. On the ensuing power play, and shortly after a flurry of activity that saw Jaden Schwartz and Magnus Pääjarvi miss some wide open nets, T.J. Oshie decided to remind everyone why America was great, swatting in a rebound from a Schwartz shot:
Inexplicably, Darryl Sutter yanked Martin Jones. Neither goal so far was really on Jones, per se, so it's easy to make the assumption that Sutter wanted to wake his team up and change the momentum. That worked well:
Nice face-off win yet again by Sobotka, and (though he hasn't been credited an assist for it yet) a slight direction of the puck by Schwartz to Oshie who just lasered it right past Ben Scrivens.
Things got dodgy with a 1:26 long five-on-3 after Stewart got called for boarding Jake Muzzin, and Sobotka got whistled for tripping Drew Doughty. Sobotka's penalty was more of an accidental knee than a trip, as he went in for the hit and changed his mind last second. Hits are like multiple choice tests. When you commit yourself, just stick with it.
In a symptom of the Kings' scoring woes, the Blues killed off both penalties and made sure that momentum was still firmly in their direction going into the third.
You know, I really think that the honeymoon for Scrivens and Jones might be over, and I really think that the Los Angeles Kings have a problem on their hands until Jonathan Quick gets back. How can I tell? Not by this excellent slip-sliding snipe from Vladimir Tarasenko, because I'm not sure if Scrivens could get his sights on this puck or not:
Weeee! Looks like someones doing a good job of showing the Russian Olympic scouts just why he needs to make the cut. That was Tarasenko's 13th on the season, which bumps his total so far this season up to five goals more than last year.
No, the reason why I say that the Kings might be having issues is this:
When Barret Jackman can fire a bomb like that which you should be able to get a clean read on, and you let it fly in the net between your legs, there is a problem.
Eh, oh well. Tonight marks coach Ken Hitchcock's 100th win as a the coach of the St. Louis Blues. Goaltender Brian "I like to start stuff amongst the fanbase by playing awesomely while other goalies are sick" Elliott notched his 15th shutout as a Blue and his 11th win of the season.
#RoyWatch is up to 28 points, as Roy scored his 20th assist of the season.
The Blues get to be right back at it again as their former Central Division rival-ishes the Columbus Blue Jackets get into town.