In the 1997 film, Copland, Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro) tells the disgraced Sheriff Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) that he could have been a winner, but he blew it. Heflin is the law in a sea of dirty cops (led by Harvey Keitel), and Tilden wanted to help him take them down-but Heflin declined at first. Late in the film when the light bulb goes on in Heflin’s dim head, Tilden rebuffs him.
The reason I’m telling you this is that the Blues had a chance to be a winner this season, but they blew it. They are Sly’s Freddy and the NHL season schedule makers are Tilden, glaring down at them yelling, “you’re too fucking late.”
The Blues lost a heartbreaker in Dallas on Saturday. This is the kind of game you go see your priest, therapist, or unwanted friend about. The Blues were up 2-1 with less than three minutes to go in the third period when Alexander Radulov scored hid 24th goal of the season to tie it. The Blues had reversed an early 1-0 Stars lead with goals by Ivan Barba-I’m awake-shev and #19 from Jaden Schwartz, and Carter Hutton was holding his own against Blues castoff Ben Bishop (who stoned Alexander Steen in the first period).
The Stars tried to play kickball in front of the net after their game tying goal, but a skate kick that my six year old son could have noticed negated a Stars go-ahead tally, and sent the game overtime. In other words, the Jamie Benn awakening.
Benn hadn’t scored since my birthday, a drought of 12 games. Let’s put it this way. If Vladimir Tarasenko did this, Blues fans would call for his jersey, number, accent, and social security number.
A little while into overtime, the Blues defense, notorious for breaking down easy, gave Benn way too much space at the top of the slot, and he buried a smooth wrist shot through the five hole of Hutton. Game over. 3-2, Stars.
Folks, it’s more simple that a hard fought overtime loss. The Stars are a better team than the Blues. Their forwards are relentless on the puck, especially on the forecheck. They are bigger, stronger, and faster than the Blues. Dallas has even learned a little defense with Ken Hitchcock behind the bench.
What do the Stars, Predators, Jets, Wild, Ducks, Golden Knights, Sharks, and Kings have in common? They are all better than the Blues right now, the most important time of the year.
Last year at this time, Jake Allen couldn’t be stopped. He had special goaltending coach Martin Brodeur by his side reading him bedtime stories about showing him how to not leave a large portion of the net wide open to rebounds. The Blues were streaking towards the playoffs. Mike Yeo looked like a genius.
Flash forward a year, and Yeo looks clueless while Hitchcock has found a comfortable spot with Dallas. It’s ugly. There’s no other way to put it.
The only reason the Blues have a resemblance of a shot is due to an unbelievable start. Back in the day when there was a franchise record being broken. Ah, those fine days. Now, it’s all bad.
The Blues have lost eight of nine, and have no real answer ready to turn it all around. Doug Armstrong held onto Hutton, Kyle Brodziak, and other key parts of the team for a reason only men who have their cookies stolen from them by little kids know. Don’t expect Klim Kostin to come up here and turn into Evgeni Malkin for four weeks, because it’s not happening.
Once again, this won’t be the season the Blues win the Stanley Cup. “Maybe next year” is the familiar phrase again after a long winter of disappointment.
Oh sure, the Blues still have a shot to make the playoffs, but do you think this team is going places if it sneaks into the party? Instead of getting the hottest girl in school, this team would throw up on their pants, slip on it, and trip down the stairs into the basement. And no, Stifler’s mom wouldn’t be waiting next to a pool table.
The Blues had a chance to be a winner, but they blew it. If they would have collected two points and kept Dallas from even getting one on Saturday, they are on top of the Stars backs for the first wildcard spot. Now, they stand a point behind Anaheim for the second spot. Also, the Blues don’t play again until Thursday, because they have played a larger chunk of the schedule than all the teams they are chasing. It’s a bitter reality. You’d have to be drinking Everclear to think this team was worthy.
The Blues upcoming schedule includes the likes of San Jose (twice), Colorado (twice), Anaheim, Chicago (three times, and they won’t go easy), Vegas, and Washington. Arizona makes an appearance, but don’t expect them to lie down.
The Blues had a hard time beating Detroit this past week. How sad is that? When they beat the Red Wings 2-1, St. Louis thought the team won the lottery of good fortune. Past years teams would have slaughtered that team. This team barely got by.
Just read the signs. They are all shit. That doesn’t mean you can’t believe. Everyone loves a good comeback story.
At the end of Copland, Freddy Heflin, without sound in both of his ears, takes the law into his own hands, leading the charge against the dirty Jersey cops. He takes down Keitel’s leader in a tense shootout, and is applauded as a hero. Tilden even tells him he did a good job.
Will the Blues make a stand like Freddy? I doubt it. Either way, drink more bourbon.
In case you like horror flicks, here’s the highlight reel from Dallas.