Brian Elliott and he St. Louis Blues shutout the Chicago Blackhawks in the first game of a best-of-seven series. Although they came out on top, the Blues need to improve their play if they want to win this series.
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It was a good game. It really was. The fans got their money's worth as the Blues landed 41 hits on Chicago.
Shots On Goal
1st Period Penalties
CHI 03:20 Viktor Svedberg Holding the stick against Alexander Steen
STL 13:17 Jay Bouwmeester Tripping against Artem Anisimov
STL 15:24 Alexander Steen Hooking against Erik Gustafsson
STL 16:49 Carl Gunnarsson Hooking against Jonathan Toews
CHI 18:38 Brent Seabrook Interference against Scottie Upshall
I was disappointed in the calls that the referees made and the calls that they missed. There are too many to narrow down on, but one that I was particularly mad about was Brent Seabrook's "interference" against Scottie Upshall. Upshall was the best player on the Blues for the first couple shirts. He got the crowd going early with his physical play.
Seabrook pushed/knocked over Upshall when he was skating by the Blackhawks' crease. Upshall–nowhere near the puck—was thrown into the boards. Hard. I was expecting a major penalty since it was such an obvious target, but Seabrook got out of the box in two minutes after Upshall limped to the bench.
Last night's game was the most physical the Blues have played this season. Luckily, Upshall was fine, and he totaled 5 hits. So did Troy Brouwer and Ryan Reaves. You know it's going to be physical when Robby Fabbri lays out Seabrook at center ice early in the first. He went on to take down Michal Rozsíval with a shoulder-on-shoulder smash.
While the Blues landed 41 hits, the Blackhawks only had 24.
It's Blues and Blackhawks. It should be this physical.
David Backes was rewarded after trying to find Alexander Steen winding up behind Corey Crawford. The pass hit off the skate of Trevor van Riemsdyk and trickled inbetween the goaltender's legs. If that's what it will take to win each game, I'm fine with fluke goals.
Despite the surplus of scoring chances, the Blues escaped this one with a 1-0 lead.
Duncan Keith will return the Blackhawks lineup in Game 2 after being suspended for slashing a player in the face. They Blues need to be just as aggressive when he is on the ice. Fabbri might need to lay him out, too.
Game 2 will be on Friday, 8:00 p.m. It will be broadcasted on FS-Midwest, NBCSN, and SN. As Blues fans are well aware, wining the first game(s) means nothing if we lose the next four. Let's come out strong Friday. Let's Go Blues.