Forwards - Jaden Schwartz/Jori Lehtera/Vladimir Tarasenko...Robby Fabbri/Paul Stastny/Troy Brouwer...Patrik Berglund/Alexander Steen/David Backes...Steve Ott/Kyle Brodziak/Scottie Upshall.
Defensemen - Jay Bouwmeester/Alex Pietrangelo...Joel Edmundson/Kevin Shattenkirk...Carl Gunnarsson/Colton Parayako.
Goalie - Brian Elliott
The Blues would play host to the San Jose Sharks in game one of the Western Conference Final tonight at Scottrade. To say it was a close tight game would be an understatement. The Blues THOUGHT they had the first goal of the evening when the puck would find the back of the net. It would turn out that there was "incidental contact" between Berglund and Sharks goaltender Martin Jones. Funny enought, the puck actually bounced in off of a Shark. That wouldn't matter though as the goal was called back. Hitch would even challenge that there was goaltender interference, but in the end it was for naught and no timeout as the Blues would lose the challenge.
Here's the thing about these Blues. They don't let that get to them. Or at least they haven't in this years playoffs. Three and a half minutes later David Backes would score on a Blues powerplay. Backes would get the tip in on a shot from Shattenkirk past Jones and give the Blues the 1-0 lead.
There are some that say the next few shifts after a goal are key. It's all about the response right? Well, just 34 seconds later, the Sharks would tie the game up at one thanks to a Joe Pavelski deflection.
At the end of the period, David Backes and Joe Thornton would exchange beard tugs...I guess these two were probably the kids that tugged on Santa's beard at Christmas time too...
Moving forward to the second period, and needless to say the Sharks had a campground set up in the Blues defensive end. The pressure was turned way up by the Sharks. Shots in the second period alone were 16-5. However, with that being said, the Blues managed to be the lone team that scored in the period. Brett Burns would turn the puck over and Lehtera would take off down the ice. He would shoot the puck at the net, and somehow Jones would get beaten by an average looking shot (Sorry Jori. Love the chip ad though). 2-1 Blues.
The big reason that the Blues would survive the second period would be the play once again of Brian Elliott. After the Lehtera goal, the Sharks would keep pushing. They could have had another goal right after a Blues goal, but Elliott was able to make a key save from point blank range on Dainius Zubrus.
The Sharks barrage would continue as here Elliott would have to make a great kick save on Joe Pavelski to preserve the 2-1 lead.
Elliott would make yet another great saves, as he would have to battle through a screen to make the save on a Brent Burns chance. Burns would fail to score though because he has a horrific manbun.
Moving on to the third period and it was more of the same for Elliott. By far the best player on the ice for the good guys. (Special teams would come in a close second, but more on that in a minute). On one of the three Sharks powerplays, Elliott would make the two pad stack save robbing Patrick Marleau of a game tying goal.
The last 3 minutes of the game San Jose would hit the post at least twice. On the first post shot, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (Isn't that a brand of pickle? Nevermind) the puck would hit the post, bounce of of Elliott, and to the middle of the ice, and somehow Elliott would be the one to get to it and cover it.
The second would be in the closing moments of the game. With Jones out of the net at the other end (which he left with about 2 minutes left by the way) the Sharks would have the 6th attacker. Thorton would blast a shot that would deflect off of Parayko and hit the post.
With that, the Blues would win game 1 by the score of 2-1. The Blues special teams played a big part in tonight's win as well. The Blues would go 1 for 2 on their man advantage (The David Backes goal) while the Sharks man advantage would go 0 for 3. Which if you've been following the Sharks powerplay numbers, that's a pretty big deal. While it wasn't a complete game by any means it was still a win. The Blues can't afford to play like they did tonight and expect to win the series. Yet here they are with the 1-0 series lead. The series continues Tuesday night at Scottrade. Game time is at 7 p.m. on NBCSN.
From The Twitter Machine:
Chips spokesperson Jori Lehtera on what was the game winning goal.
Lehtera on his goal, which got Backes and Elliott laughing: "I just got the puck, then I closed my eyes and shoot it. That's about it."— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 16, 2016
David Backes wasn't just tugging beards and scoring goals.
Backes finished with 11 hits, the most ever recorded by a Blues player in a postseason game.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 16, 2016
Shatty postgame comments:
Hitch had an interesting comment on the coaches challenge:
Hitch on challenge, joking: "The league was looking for goals. I was just trying to help them out." #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 16, 2016
And finally...We've finally got the Royal Half on board guys. Miracles can happen:
Let’s go…— The Royal Half (@theroyalhalf) May 16, 2016
*throws up in mouth*
Third Star: Jori Lehtera (Game winning goal. Seriously, if you haven't seen his chip commercial you're missing out)
Second Star: David Backes (1 goal, doesn't endorse chips, but has rescued more animals than the Sharks have via airplane)
First Star; Brian Elliott (31 saves...MOOOOOOOOSE)