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Blues Say The Right Things About The Need To Be Disciplined Against The Wild

Not giving any opponent an advantage is key to success in the playoffs.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it in this morning's links, Lou Korac published an excellent piece yesterday about how the Blues need to find a balance between agitation and winning. Not giving the Wild an edge due to silly, undisciplined play will go a long way toward a playoff victory.

"I think in any series, you've got to play with a little bit of an edge," right wing Ryan Reaves said. "You've got to play physical. You've got to try and get on their main guys just like they're going to try and get on our guys. I think playoff hockey definitely ramps up a little bit in the physical department. You've got to make sure you keep it going for as long as the series goes.

"You can't get carried away with it. You can't go out and run somebody and take a penalty because one goal can cost playoff games really quick. I think it's something that for sure I'd like to lead the team in. I've tried to all year, but you've definitely got to stay disciplined."

The guys talked a good game. They know what they're supposed to do. They were pretty disciplined last season against the Blackhawks - injuries and not being able to actively compete against a healthy Chicago squad for the series is what did the team in (among a few other problems).

During this regular season, however, the Blues had issues with penalties - luckily they had a solid PK or else things may have slipped a bit standings-wise. The team had 904 PIM collectively for the season; that was good for fourth in the NHL. The Wild were one of the league's least penalized teams at 22nd overall, with 728 PIM.

The difference between the two teams gets smaller when you look at majors. The Blues wound up with 32 on the season; the Wild had 26. What does that say? It seems to say that the Blues make multiple small mistakes more than the Wild do, while the Wild make their penalties count, darnit.

Matt Cooke is doubtful for game one. We may have to wait until game two for the Wild's first major penalty. Hopefully we'll have to wait longer for the Blues' first penalty that we wince at.