A good number of hockey pundits picked the Minnesota Wild to come out on top of this tough, nearly even pairing. Question marks in goal, question marks about the Blues defense... fair questions all, and a fair reason to assume that despite a good effort, the Blues would be making a first round exit for the third season in a row.
People expected this series to last for seven games, so with their game six win last night, the Blues doubly disappointed the naysayers.
The Blues dominant win over the Wild last night capped a series in which they outscored Minnesota 22-16, kept the power play effectiveness rolling at a clip (30.8%) that’s actually better than their regular season output, and got contributions from a wounded defense that were arguably more consistent than what we saw during the season.
Game six finally saw variety in scoring, too, with defenseman Nick Leddy opening the night, Tyler Bozak adding a hell of a goal with the help of Alexei Toropchenko, and Colton Parayko wrapping the scoring up. Scott Perunovich added his third postseason assist to Vladimir Tarasenko’s second period power play goal, the second PPG on the evening for the Blues.
Jordan Binnington also seems to have his head on straight right now, focused on the game and not focused on whatever it was that has seemed to be distracting him during the last couple of postseasons. A collected Jordan Binnington is a Jordan Binnington that wins games.
Binnington: "I tried to have the mindset of going in there and just competing, giving the team a chance to win. It's exciting being out there with the atmosphere and just taking in those final seconds, the excitement of the city and the rink and the boys ... it's a good feeling."— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 13, 2022
All of this adds up to the first time the Blues have moved to the second round of the playoffs since 2019. Their second round opponent? The Colorado Avalanche, who swept them out of the postseason last year and who just swept the underwhelming Nashville Predators out of the playoffs. This won’t be an easy second round series, but if the Blues keep laying on the firepower, who’s to say what the outcome is going to be?