Big game today. Huge, in fact. We've got 24 pages jam packed with analysis, commentary, jokes, curse words, stats and more in our fan-run paper that's almost completely different than what we post here on the website. Not going? You can buy it in our secure online store.
Here's what our front page guy started to say about today's match-up:
The Blues did a whole bunch of things wrong in Game 1. Allowing the Wild(s) to dictate play with their speed on the rush led to the Blues looking for more creative ways to gain the zone or limit turnovers. Such passing looked like it left much to be desired as there were several instances where the left hand didn't look like it was talking to the right.
It's not like the Blues haven't had to deviate from a strict north/south Ken Hitchcock style before in a response to something the opponent has done, but the Game 1 mid-game adjustments looked like a team trying to thread a needle twice in order to gain a chance on net.
Due credit to the Minnesota team that saw Ryan Suter look like one of the smoothest motherfuckers this side of Lando Calrissian. Speed in transition and off the rush combined with a stout defensive effort led to a shitload of blocked shots, which certainly had a hand in the Blues looking to make tough plays to find space to shoot. Even with the amount of skill the Blues have up front, a high amount of saucer passes and stretch passes isn't any kind of strategy the Blues are looking to employ once they've gained the zone. Even with Minny playing a picturesque road game and even with all the documented asscheek-clenching Blues fans are used to, there's no reason the Blues shouldn't be able to establish possession down low more than they did in the first game.
As I wrote in the paper, get people and pucks to the middle of the ice. That's what Minnesota's defense is geared for. So do what they don't want you to do.
By the way, we'll have the paper for Game 5 up for sale next week. Yeah, I said it.