The intensity that comes with playoff hockey is what makes it so great, but it is also what makes it nearly unbearable when your team is facing elimination. To give myself a break from the stress and intensity, I like to do something small during the game. Tonight I will do my best to write my thoughts as the game goes on. I’ve done this for a political debate, but not for a sporting event, so we will see how this goes.
I’m nervous. I know the Blues are more than capable of winning this game, but I’m still nervous that they won’t come through. When they play their type of game, they’re simply better than the Stars. The question is whether or not they’ll play the style that they need to. I know they can do it, but I’m not as confident that they will as other Blues fans seem to be.
Big save by Elliott on the rush about two minutes in. Dallas seemed to find his weakness (high shots) in the last game, let’s hope he is prepared for their high-shooting strategy tonight.
15:29 left in the first period and Tarasenko draws the game’s first penalty. It was really the first pressure the Blues had had all night. They have won all five faceoffs so far, though.
GOAL! It wasn’t pretty, but the Blues shoved one in on the powerplay. Fabbri, Stastny and Brouwer were down low. Came after Parayko hesitated to shoot from the point. 1-0 Blues.
American Airlines Center is silent now that the Blues are ahead. Steen had a good chance on the short side, but missed the net. … Just as I typed that the Stars nearly scored on a rush the other way. Actually, I’m not sure how they didn’t score there. Lucky break. We head to the first media timeout.
I advocated for Steve Ott to get a start tonight. The veteran deserves a chance in a Game 7 against his former team. He has the calm presence you need. He’s hitting everything early in this game. 11:40 left.
Dallas has had some Grade A chances the last few minutes. Luckily they haven’t been able to cash in, but it’s just a matter of time until they do if the Blues keep giving up these chances.
#JoriLehteraMinorPenaltyKing strikes again. I don’t see this penalty kill going well.
Blues somehow kill off the penalty. Dallas had chances, but couldn’t cash them in. We now head to a well-timed media timeout.
Lots of up and down with neither team in control. Stastny continues to do a great job defending Benn. Keep it up, Paul.
Blues now head back to the PK. Faksa for cross-checking on Ott. Not a great call, but I’ll take it. Need to cash in or at least use it as a momentum changer. Less than 5 minutes left.
Not a bad powerplay, but the Blues couldn’t beat Lehtonen and Dallas killed it off. American Airlines Center has its energy back.
GOAL! Loud curse words get yelled in my apartment as the Blues go up 2-0. Tarasenko beat Lehtonen from a very bad angle. Almost wonder if the goalie didn’t expect that shot. Heck, Tarasenko may not have expected that shot; looked like he may have been trying to make a pass. Dallas is challenging the goal to see if it was onside. It was not. No goal. Back to 1-0. The replay hurts the Blues again. Ouch.
GOAL! (for real this time) You can probably guess which line. Fabbri – Stastny – Brouwer were down low on the cycle. Not a good goal for Lehtonen to give up. That’s a huge momentum goal. 2-0 Blues.
GOAL! (no really) It was Berglund of all people! I give the man a ton of trouble, but he has been a great role player in the playoffs. Huge goal at the end of the period.
Blues head to the first intermission with a 3-0 lead. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Niemi in the second period. The Blues didn’t play their best hockey, but they made their chances count.
We’re back! As expected, Niemi is in the net. As you could imagine, I’m nervous about the Blues playing a full 60 minutes. It’s not exactly their forte. Just play smart hockey and whatever happens, keep moving your feet to initiate hits.
Not sure what just happened, but Elliott decided to pitch a tent behind his own net and it nearly cost the Blues an empty net goal. Another one of those situations where I’m not sure how it didn’t go in.
Stars almost scored on the rush. Nice play by Gunnarsson to block the pass with his stick. Not exactly a good start to the period for the Blues.
GOAL! Berglund flutters the puck to an open spot on the ice and Backes does the rest. He beats Niemi blocker side. 4-0 Blues. Another poor goal to give up for Dallas.
14 minutes left in the second period. 34 in the game. Plenty of time for things to go wrong. Blues need to keep working hard. I think it’s crucial to roll all four lines so that you have fresh legs out there at all times.
Not very pretty hockey out there right now. Ott just took a penalty for interference. They absolutely can’t keep giving Dallas powerplays. Nervous times.
Elliott looks to be on a mission tonight. Has made some terrific saves; many of them not so pretty, but they certainly work just the same. Blues kill the penalty.
13 minutes into the period. In his in-game interview, Hitch said the Blues need to skate on their first touch of the puck. That’s an interesting way to put it. I would love to talk shop with him someday. I’ve never personally known someone with above average hockey knowledge; obviously nobody with an elite hockey IQ like an NHL coach. Anyway, back to the game. 14 minutes into the period now.
GOAL! The Stastny line scores again!! This time it’s Brouwer. I can hear yelling coming from an apartment across the street. 5-0. Good times. (now don’t ruin this, Blues)
Blues took another penalty and killed it off. Moose is still standing tall. There isn’t much time left in the second. Is there a way to make the clock move faster?
…it is underway.Blues are up 5-0 and for some reason I’m still pretty nervous. Blues just need to be smart and keep moving their feet. This is also the type of game that I worry about injuries in.
A storm just blew in and knocked out my television signal. Thank goodness for live streaming on the internet.
And just as I pull up the online feed, Dallas scores their first of the night. It’s now 5-1. About 15 minutes left in the game. Puck seemed to have deflected off of a defenseman’s skate and straight to Eaves in front of Elliott. It’s a good reminder for the Blues that this game isn’t over.
Another TV timeout. Blues are starting to slip a bit. Don’t let up now.
Decided to flip over the Cardinals game during the commercial. There was a L.A. Rams ad behind home plate. I immediately put the Blues game back on.
We’re nearing the 10 minute mark. Stars have dominated possession in the third. It’s not a good sign, but the Blues still own a 4-goal lead. For now.
Another commercial. Flipped back to the Cardinals game. The Rams ad is still there. Come on, man.
6:30 left. Blues still up 5-1. Backes had a chance to make it a 5-goal lead again, but he missed. Niemi is heading to the bench now. Tarasenko shot at the empty net from the full length of the ice and hit the post. Oh the drama.
Stars still putting pressure on during the 6 on 5 situation. Still 5 minutes left.
GOAL! Tarasenko didn’t miss that one. He scores on the empty net from short range. 4:40 left in the game. That should do it.
A little less than 3 minutes are left on the clock. Hockey isn’t much fun when you’re just playing not to get hurt.
90 ticks of the clock are remaining. I can’t believe this is happening.
Your St. Louis Blues are heading to the Western Conference Finals.
Goodnight, Blues fans.