Sometimes, you seem to get the recap ready before the game is even over. After two periods, I could have written a Goddamn book about everything the Blues did wrong to lose to the Kings. But that's not how this one ended. The Blues tore back for four goals in the third period, three against Jonathan Quick and one hat-trick-clinching empty-netter, taking the front half of a home-and-home over the Kings 5-2 at the DrinkScotch Tuesday night.
The first period went just about as expected . . . both teams trying to ramp up the physicality, with neither really getting the upper hand until late in the period when the Kings took a shot advantage. But as it would turn out, neither side was able to get the opening tally in the opening period. I'll be quite frank . . . I didn't see most of the first period, and looking at the highlights, I didn't miss much either.
The second period, though . . . well, that was something. Good things happen when you crash the Goddamn net, as Marian Gaborik (who got credited with the goal) and his pals can attest:
Ugh. Then, Gaborik scored again:
BUT THERE WAS HOPE! Vladimir Tarasenko put the Blues on the board not too long after Gaborik's second tally. And boy, was this the easiest assist of Steve Ott's career, wasn't it? WHAT THE FUCK WAS OTT DOING ON THE LEHTERASENKO LINE ANYWAY (more on that later, kinda)? Yeesh:
That's how the game stood after two. A lot of things were operating against the Blues at this point . . . the chief among them being that the Kings were 12-0-1 this season before tonight when scoring the first goal of the game. Guess who scored the first goal of the game? Oh, right . . . well, anyway, a relatively boring first half of the third period led to a game of blown whistles and people being sent off.
But at one point, the Blues had a 5-on-3. Then, in what I thought was a really dumb move at the time, Ken Hitchcock called his timeout ahead of the 5-on-3. But . . . how was I to know this would be the start of a deluge? It began with a 5-on-3 tally by Jaden Schwartz (on a goal originally credited to Kevin Shattenkirk, who is having a HELL of a season if you haven't noticed yet) to tie the game at two:
Then, at the very end of the same power play, another dandy wrister from Tarasenko to give the Blues the lead:
And then, not too long after taking the lead, Alexander Steen buys some insurance, and a nice sheath for his stick (GIF inbound later):
The Blues played a bit of defense and did what they could to keep a heavy-playing Kings squad off the puck as much as possible. But eventually, the Kings were able to vacate their net for the extra attacker. And Tarasenko capped off the hat trick on a dandy play around a maze of defenders with a great individual effort:
BRING THE HATS, FOOLS!
So yeah, that game sure was something.
Bullets? Sure. Load the chamber. Ready the clay. PULL:
- As mentioned earlier . . . at one point, Steve Ott was on the same line as Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera, which got me to thinking . . . WHAT. IN. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. KENNETH? Nevermind that Ott got an assist on Tarasenko's first goal (take a look . . . anyone could have made that pass, right?) and was the third star of the game (for WHAT reason he got it over a slew of other deserving players, I have no fucking clue), Ott barely belongs on the same CONTINENT as Lehtera and Tarasenko, much less the same fucking line. I think we can all agree on this, yes?
- David Backes has been largely seen as invisible at times this year, but that's easy to do when you're playing the shutdown role. Tonight, in 16:57 TOI, he earned an assist, a +1 (yeah, yeah, plus/minus is stupid, I know) and tallied EIGHT hits while largely being tasked to shut down the Kings' top line, all while missing the presence of another key shutdown forward in T.J. Oshie, who went home to tend to a family emergency (#FuckCancer) but should be ready to go at some point during the upcoming road trip.
- The Blues did not seem to lack in key performers on the blue line (Alex Pietrangelo 26:59 1A +1 2 Hits, Jay Bouwmeester 23:35 1A +1 1 Hit, Shattenkirk 22:16 1A +1 1 Hit, etc.), but Carl Gunnarsson skated with the team today, and his pending return can only bolster an already deep blue-line corps, whenever that happens (and it's probably not TOO close yet). Wait, didn't we say this once before? Well, it's still true.
- I laughed out loud when Dustin Brown was called for a ticky-tack penalty that led to the Blues power play, an eventual 5-on-3 and the eventual onslaught. Seriously, Fuck Dustin Brown.
- Steen's celebration after his goal was fucking magnificent. Putting the sword back in the scabbard. You go, Alexander. (GIF via the incomparable @myregularface):
The Blues fly out to the left coast to face these same Kings at their barn on Thursday to start a three-game roadie ahead of the Christmas break. Hopefully, The Note saved some goals for the return bout.
LET'S GO BLUES.