After the Blues dominated a pivotal Game 5 to reclaim the series lead, they find themselves in a position to eliminate the Dallas Stars in front of a sea of blue. Will they do it?
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Hitchcock stopped practice about ten minutes in today. He said that the guys looked so good he didn't even want to finish the practice—just save all the energy for tonight. So that's a good sign.
Here's a piece from an article I wrote about things that I learned after watching Game 2:
The Blues are pretty good at hockey
I'm not just now realizing this, but after Game 1, I was questioning myself. The first and second periods were reassuring that the Blues are a cup-contending team. They answered a 0-1 start by making it 3-1. Three unanswered goals in one period? Sounds like... Game 6 of last series... NOPE. The Blues had a killer second period as they kept the Stars goal-less. It was the third period that was nerve-racking.
The Blues let in two goals while playing 'defensive' hockey. If you don't believe me, they had one shot in the first twelve minutes of the period. In fact, they were outshot 13 to 2 in the third. They went a whole period with only two shots. While you could argue they were playing 'defensive', they had 13 shots in the previous period, in which they also played 'defensive'. So just don't.
Right, so it turns out the Blues are pretty good at this whole 'hockey' thing. They came out of the first period of Game 4 tied 1-1 even though they were outshot and simply outplayed by the Stars. It was nice to see two decent periods of play following that where we established the 4-1 lead/win. This showed me that the Blues can escape with the win even if they play 20 minutes of sloppy hockey.
If the Blues come out wanting to win as much as the fans want them to win, the Dallas Stars should be playing golf this weekend. Then again, the Blues had three chances to eliminate the Blackhawks last series and didn't do so until Game 7. Then again, the Blackhawks actually have defense and a consistent offense (no offense DAL).
I think it's safe to say the Blues should win tonight. We'll see.
Here are the projected lines:
Schwartz- Lehtera- Tarasenko
Fabbri- Stastny- Brouwer
Berglund- Steen- Backes
Upshall- Brodziak- Jaskin
LET'S. GO. BLUES.