If there was one consistent concern about the Blues that had been voiced throughout round one, it’s that the Blues didn’t look like they were on their game. There were flashes of that, like the first period of game four, but until the last period of game five, the Winnipeg Jets kept the team off of their game. In game three, the team looked more like the October Blues than the February Blues.
Then came the last period of game five, and the resurgence of Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, and Jaden Schwartz. Then came the backbreaker. It’s hard for a team to bounce back from having a game winning goal scored against them in the last fifteen seconds. It’s a hell of a confidence ding, and the Jets were shocked.
On the other hand, Jaden Schwartz, who scored the game winner in game four, was inspired. He has scored the Blues’ last four goals, including all three of Game Six’s goals.
Game five’s winner was reminiscent of David Freese’s home run to send the Cardinals into game seven of the 2011 World Series, much like Schenn’s goal was reminiscent of Freese’s game tying triple. The game began as a comedy of errors for the Blues, much as game six of the Series was a shaky start for the Cardinals. The Blues scratched and clawed their way back into the game, and sent the playoff series back to St. Louis for a game six. Sure, if the Rangers would’ve won their game six it would’ve been the series for the Cardinals, but if the Jets would’ve won game five, it could’ve proven a back-breaker. And much like the Rangers in game seven, the Jets were on their heels from the word “go.” The late game goals by Winnipeg added some drama, but at the end of the night, the only thing that matters is that you score more than the other guy, not how many more.
The Blues get some much deserved time off while waiting for the winner of the Dallas Stars/Nashville Predators series. Dallas is up 3-2 and can knock off the Central Division champion with a win on Monday night. A Stars win gives the Blues home-ice advantage, and it would also mean that all of the conference champions are out. A Vegas Golden Knights win tonight would mean that in the West, the only teams left will be two three-seeds and two wild card teams. No matter how the conference champion works out in the end, I think it’s safe to say that this’ll probably be a win for the underdog.