Sometimes, home ice advantage means everything in a playoff series. Sometimes a team wastes it completely.
We already know where the Jets fall on that dichotomy. Tonight, we get to see where the Blues stand. As Ben Frederickson pointed out in the Post-Dispatch yesterday, the Blues haven’t even been playing as well as they can play, and they’re still up 2-0 in the series. Their power play hasn’t been functional, and the secondary scoring has stepped up in a big way, especially Oskar Sundqvist, Tyler Bozak, and Pat Maroon. Their faceoff percentage hasn’t been good, but thankfully their goaltending has been. The Blues have played to win, the Jets have been trying to get the Blues to lose.
It’s as simple as thatL who is in control? Watch the goading that the Jets do. Watch the arms up whining they do when a call doesn’t go their way. Watch how many times one of them winds up in the penalty box after a Blue doesn’t take the bait.
“I don’t think we’re frustrated. I think for the most part we’ve played two pretty solid games. It comes down to a couple breaks. We miss a chance, they go down and tie the game 2-2 instead of it going to 3-1. We get a couple chances late there, they get a couple blocks and some big saves. I feel like we’re right there.” - Jets forward Adam Lowry
“I don’t think we’re frustrated.” That’s shorthand for “yeah, we’re frustrated.” Lowry was one of the most frustrated players on the ice Friday night.
So, how do the Blues win tonight? It’s not all about playing to full capacity. It’s about exploiting weakness, and the Jets seem pretty weak right about now. Go ruffle some feathers, boys.