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Shake It Off: Blues at Chicago Blackhawks Game 3 Preview

Time to focus on what is within your control

Jonny Toews has his war face on, I guess
Jonny Toews has his war face on, I guess
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Just think while you've been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,
You could've been getting down to this sick beat.

Whenever there is a particularly bad example of NHL officiating, I usually allow myself that night to fuss and fume about it, but by the next day I need to let it go and move on. The athletes involved have certainly done so. That is going to be the message from both coaches as well, if any player shows signs of living in the past. At this level of competition, you cannot afford to do that, and they should know that by now. Fans have the luxury of fuming a little longer over things like this (Don Dekinger, anyone?). But now that we're on the cusp of Game 3, we need to collectively put Game 2 behind us. Take some lessons from that game, but focus on how they apply to the one ahead.

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

As has been pointed out by several folks online, there is one insurance against bad goal calls - score more goals. If the Blues could manage more than a 1-goal lead, there wouldn't be so much invested into a single goal call. It's not like St Louis didn't have chances, before or afterwards, they just need to cash in on those opportunities. The Hawks don't allow very many, so you must take advantage of them when you can.

In the first period of Game 2, the Blues only allowed 2 shots on goal to the Hawks, and one of those was a center-ice dump-in that happened to be on net. That same period, the Blues only had 7 of their own - we need to take advantage of that disparity. If the Blues don't, well ... we saw how that bites us in the ass later in the game.

I never miss a beat
I'm lightning on my feet
And that's what they don't see, mmm-mmm

So far, we haven't allowed any goals to the trinity of Toews, Kane, and Hossa ... but on the same token, they also lead the Hawks in SOG, so that is only true by the grace of Brian Elliott. Continue to shut them down, and in the case of Jonathan Toews we need to clamp down even tighter (7 shots on goal in Game 1, 11 for the series). Duncan Keith is performing at his usual workrate - over 30 minutes of ice time in Game 2, which didn't even go into OT. On top of that, in those minutes he was a possession machine - 57.6% of the shot attempts were in the Hawks favor when he was on the ice. The Blues will need to work on that, as well. Keith represents the lynchpin of their defense, both in talent but especially in ice time. Neutralize that, and you've made a huge impact.

There are plenty of good folks covering this series, and they are included below. Please read their stuff.

GameDay Twitter Feed

Further Reading

Second City Hockey

Committed Indian

Blues vs Blackhawks coverage

Final Verse: The puck drops at 2 PM St Louis time, and the GDT should drop shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on NBC and the radio call is on Y98 FM (98.3). Please join us for the GameDay Thread. It's like instantaneous group therapy and your worst enablers, all in one convenient place. Here's an amusing little anecdote about today's subject: