When coach Craig Berube asks the Blues to put things behind them, it works. He told the team to move on from their defeat Wednesday night, and they did just that with a 2-1 win that not only saw Ivan Barbashev score like a man possessed within the first minute, it also involved a power play goal (!) for the second game in a row (!!), this time from Tyler Bozak (!!!).
So the series returns to San Jose tied up at two. While it could be 3-1 Blues, it could also just as easily be 3-1 San Jose. As Blues fans, you can be forgiven for expecting a dud on Friday night - teams of the past didn’t seem to respond to adversity well. This year’s team, though, actually does.
Adversity could be playing an afternoon game on the opposite coast without Vince Dunn, who is still day to day. The Blues have been outstanding on the road in the playoffs and have already taken one game against the Sharks in San Jose, but that doesn’t make it any less of a difficult place to play. Adversity for the Sharks could be playing without Erik Karlsson, whose groin appeared to be re-injured in game four. You can play through injury in the playoffs, but it’s tough to play through a groin injury, and it looked like it’s back.
This see-saw of a series can go one of two ways tonight, and one’s preferable - the Blues can win and send it home for a chance to clinch, or the Blues can lose and send it home for a chance to come back for one more game. Either of them shouldn’t elicit a lot of concern for Blues fans, or at least not the level of concern that it has in the past. The Blues have a franchise record 10 wins so far this post-season. What’s at least two more?