Forwards- Jaden Schwartz/Alexander Steen/Vladimir Tarasenko...Robby Fabbri/Paul Stastny/Troy Brouwer...Patrik Berglund/Jori Lehtera/David Backes...Scottie Upshall/Kyle Brodziak/Steve Ott
Defensemen- Jay Bouwmeester/Alex Pietrangelo...Joel Edmundson/Kevin Shattenkirk...Carl Gunnarsson/Colton Parayko
Goalie- Brian Elliott
After all of twenty seconds burned the Blues in game 6, game 7 needed to be an all out effort from them. Not that the effort wasn't there, but the result wasn't what the Blues had hoped. It was time for the Blues to put up or shutup for the second series in a row. How would they respond? In the form of one of the best games, if not THE best game of the entire year. The Stars would come out firing though as Brian Elliott would have to be on his game early in this one. Jason Demers would have the first good chance of the game just two minutes in.
The Blues would strike the score sheet first however. On the powerplay, less than 6 minutes into the period, Fabbri would jam home goal number one for the 1-0 Blues lead.
Elliott clearly was the right choice to start this game. (Not even sure why there was a debate other than Hitch's sleep on it comment) 5 minutes left in the period, and he would once again keep the Stars from finding the back of the net. Radek Faska would get the opportunity to be denied by Elliott on this shot.
A few moments later, it would appear that Tarasenko had made it 2-0. Not so fast. The Stars would challenge if the play was offsides. Unfortunately, it was determined that Tarasenko himself was offside on the play. Here's the explanation from NHL.com:
"After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Tarasenko was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, The standard for overturning the call in the event of a 'GOAL' call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an "Off-side infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed."
Tarasenko's skate was in the air while the puck was crossing the blue line so it was ruled that he was offside. Here's the thing on that...It didn't matter because Stastny would score less than a minute later anyway to actually make it 2-0.
With a minute thirtyish left at that point, you would think that the Blues probably were done scoring for the period...Mr. Berglund would like to have some words with you on that as he would score with just 4 seconds left. The Blues were up 3-0 after one period. With three minutes gone in the second, Brian Elliott would come up big again. This time he would make a spectacular kick save on Colton Sceviour and give the middle finger to anyone that doubted him starting tonight.
With what's happened in the past, were the Blues of the second periods past going to show up tonight? David Backes sure didn't think so as he rings one off of the post and in for the 4-0 Blues lead. Different goalie/same result as Kari Lehtonen was chased for Antti Niemi. Also going to through out the great pass from Berglund to get Backes in that position in the first place.
The Stars would have their chances in the period though. The best one was on the powerplay midway through the period. Patrick Eaves and Jason Spezza would both get chances on the play, and Jamie Benn would even try to come in and finish the play but he ended up just breaking his stick on Elliott's glove.
The Blues would net ANOTHER goal. Still in the second period, Shatty would feed it up to Stastny, who would find Fabbri, who would hit Brouwer with the pass to finish of the tic-tac-goal. This would give the Blues a 5-0 lead and just maybe give fans hope that they were going to win their second game 7 of the 2016 postseason.
The Stars finally scored in the third period. A for effort. Even this was deflected in.
They almost scored twice in the third, but luckily Elliott was able to make the stop.
The Blues would score again in the third though. Tarasenko would finally get his goal, that he thought he had way back in the first. The Stars would pull Niemi, and with a little under 5 minutes to go, Tarasenko put the nail in the coffin.
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001, THE BLUES ARE GOING TO THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS.
The Blues come out and completely dominate the Stars and win by the final score of 6-1. All kidding aside, it was a great series that could have gone either way. Congrats to them on a great year. Game one of the Western Conference Final will begin Sunday night at Scottrade. Puck drop around 7. That also means another round of your favorite Gametime paper! Get out and buy one!
From The Twitter Machine:
Just in case you thought tonight might have been a dream...
Our favorite organist was at it again...this time Deep In The Heart Of Texas got the funeral treatment
And finally, us too Hitch, us too...
Hitchcock: "I'm happiest for the guys who were here before I got here. Those are the guys that did all the bleeding to get us here."— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 12, 2016
Third - Paul Stastny (1 goal, 2 assists. Swear someone in the lounge wanted him benched. Huh.)
Second - Robby Fabbri (1 goal, 2 assists...to think he might not have been with the big club this year)
First - Brian Elliott (31 saves. Hopefully can get some back treatment before the next round)