The Blues have beaten the Wild in 5 games. It wasn’t as easy as it looked. The Wild were in every game until the closing seconds, taking it to overtime twice. The Blues play was underwhelming for the majority of the series, but some players stood out more than others. Here are your Three Stars of the Series:
Third Star: Jaden Schwartz
Schwartz was coming off one of the coldest stretches of his career as he entered the post season. Then his physical, forechecking, puck chasing style kicked in. Playoff hockey is simply different than regular season hockey. Schwartz is unrelenting in his effort to get the puck. His all out effort allowed him to lead the Blues in goals. In this low scoring series, Schwartz was able to slip it in twice, both for the game winner. He was also the only Blue to score on the power play.
Second Star: Joel Edmundson
Edmundson set the tone for this series. Had the Blues lost in game one, this could have been a very series. Joel tied Schwartz with 2 goals, 1 being the game one winner. He also finished the series with the best +/- on the team (+2). In the final game of the series, Edmundson was on the ice for all 4 goals for and none of the goals against. He is known as a physical stay at home guy, but his timely step ups and offensive output gave the Blues a real lift. While he didn’t play on the top defensive pair, he made some excellent plays on the back end while Pietro and Bouw were on the bench. Excellent play is expected from the top pair, but the play of Edmundson was more than a few step above what was expected of him.
First Star: Jake Allen
I think we all knew who would go here. This was a series where the Blues played a team who was arguable better than them. They certainly out played them for the majority of the time on the ice. Hockey is a strange game, and the team playing better doesn’t always win. The biggest reason for that in this series was Jake Allen. For the majority of this series, Allen was simply a brick wall. His play went a long way towards demoralizing the Wild. Through stretches you could see their disbelief when Allen came up with miracle save after miracle save. Over the next few days, bloggers and journalists will write novels on why and how Jake the snake Allen squeezed the life out of the Wild. I will save the fancy word play, and simply give him the first star. What we saw with our own eyes this series is beyond the heaps of praise he will receive in the days to come. Keep it up, Snake.
Up next: The Nashville Predators.
In the comments below, give us you’re 3 stars.