There's a few different ways to describe the all around failure of the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Semifinals against the Dallas Stars. One of them won't be goaltender failure.
Believe it or not, there were people saying Brian Elliott, the stalwart Blues goaltender, could have played better. Those people are from outer fucking space apparently. Elliott was a resilient wall of steel Friday night in Texas. If Jerry Jones had tried to show up and sneak bullshit past Elliott, he would have denied it.
He couldn't stop the Stars from scoring two goals on 42 shots. That's right, morning risers. Moose stopped 40 Stars shots and gave the Blues a chance. If it wasn't for his efforts, the final score is easily 4-1. Maybe 8-1. For the 60th time in 2016, Elliott showed his brass balls and tried to save the day.
Too bad the rest of the Blues didn't get the memo. For a 2-1 game that was decided in the final five minutes, this was ugly.
I told you on Friday afternoon the Blues had a better defense than their opponent. Forget it. I was drinking cheap scotch with Ron Burgundy. The Stars outhit the Blues 32-26 and didn't allow the Blues to get many clean looks at their goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who continued his relative dominance over the Blues. Sure, the Note fired 32 shots on net, but if you take away the chips, weak flailing quails thrown on goal and limp wrist shots, it sure didn't seem like much.
The Stars were more physical than the Blues. Yuck! (downs a shot of Dirt Cheap bourbon). That is the worst part. The Blues are known for collecting 40 hits a game like you and I eat cake at a birthday party. They couldn't even get 26. Did they think second round games were won on luck, charm and soft rubs?
The Blues played exactly like a team that rarely gets to the second round. Like a kid walking into giant candy store with no candy. Both Stars goals were scored on rebounds. Rebounds that the Blues defensemen couldn't clear away. The Blues played without marbles Friday night and the Stars took advantage. The Stars blocked twice as many shots as the Blues(22 to 11). They showed more grit and stamina than the Blues. More poise as well. Early on, David Backes asked fellow Captain Jamie Benn to throw down and the Stars big fella declined. He was too busy firing point blank shots on Elliott.
If you think the Blues making it past the Chicago Blackhawks is good enough, do me a favor and pick up an interest in golf or yacht sailing. The Blues are playing at the big boy table now. No excuses. No retreat. No surrender. The stakes are higher and a failure here will hurt just as much as a first round collapse. On paper, the Blues match up with the Stars. They just didn't feel like showing up in Game 1.
Okay, there were moments of genuine pressure but they rarely got the puck to the net consistently enough. Sing it for me, Mr. Lippo.
Pretty simple tonight. Zero physical play, zero pucks funneled to the net, too many turnovers at the hash marks and blue lines.— Art Lippo (@ArtLippo) April 30, 2016
I'm sure using a Lippo dose will turn off the Blues Lounge artists who don't like blunt talk. Too bad. Sometimes harsh brutal truths go down harder than a three hour old hot can of Stag beer.
The Blues got beat at their own game of rough housing hard grinding Friday night. They are the team that usually steps on the ice, pushes other teams around, and this time they got their asses kicked. Once again, the only reason it wasn't 5-1 was due to the stellar play of their goaltender. There were at least five occasions where Elliott refused to be bitch slapped by a Dallas Star offering.
End to end action kind of a surprise. More a Stars-type game.— St Louis Game Time (@StLouisGameTime) April 30, 2016
Sorry if this sounds too depressing. Let me freshen it up. It was only one game. It was the epitome of "What Not To Do In Trying To Win A Playoff Game". Game 2 should be better. The Blues will get more pucks to the net, play better defense, and support their goaltender better. Right? Sunday will be better right? Come on optimistic folks. HIT ME!
Until then, treat your wounds with an ice cold beer, hot cup of coffee(save me some) or a chilled glass with Makers Mark soaking up real estate inside. Once again, the Blues kept the other teams big scorers off the board. I am sure 75 percent of Blues fans have no idea who Radek Faksa is but he scored the game winner. Antoine Roussel, the French turd, also scored. (DRINK!)
Sunday is a brand new day but one thing remains the same. What the Blues did against the Hawks is ancient history. Old news. Who cares? Watch the videos and pleasure yourself all day. What they do going forward counts.
I leave you with more Beastie Boys....