After a tough loss due to lackluster play, the St. Louis Blues have brought back the hope they ensured with the Game 7 win against Chicago. Here's what I learned from Game 2.
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Quick shoutout to David Backes for scoring the game-winner on his birthday. Atta way, buddy.
OK, here's what I learned:
1.) This is a different series
These games don't even come close to how long the Blackhawks games felt. Each minute seems shortened while watching the Stars because that's just how they play. I know it's getting annoying to hear, but they are pretty fast. Example? Mattias Janmark's third period goal in Game 2. He split the Blues' defensemen (55 and 27) and beat Brian Elliott with the momentum he carried before sliding it under his pads. It was like watching Robby Fabbri in this year's prospect camp: crazy.
We had 45 hits in Game 1, and 42 hits in Game 2. This series isn't as physical as the last, but not because the Blues are easing-up. No, the Blues averaged 43 hits in the first round. However, the Stars don't hit as hard as the Hawks.
2.) Second periods aren't a problem anymore!
Yeah... but third periods are. Just like in the regular season, the Blues are struggling to maintain momentum in the final minutes of regulation. We allowed the Stars back into the game with two goals in the third period. Let's just stop doing that, alright?
3.) Let the Stars be stupid
While the Stars don't have Andrew Shaw giving the Blues free power play time, they have a piece of dirt named Roussel who fills the spot flawlessly. Honestly, the guy is Shaw in a green jersey. Let him go. Like Shaw, he scored a goal, but—also like Shaw—he gave the Blues an opportunity to win the game. He was the Blues' first star. He gave them three power plays, and was the reason they won that game. So thanks Mr. Roussel. Keep being stupid.
4.) 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.
5.) Their goalies aren't that good
Kari Lehtonen (Let-one-in) let in the first two shots he faced. While Edmundson's snipe was a tough one to stop, it can't be that hard to stop a Bergie one-timer (just kidding, you're the man Bergs). As a matter of fact, his save percentage after those two shots was the same as the number of games the Hawks have played in the second round of this postseason.
Honorable mention: Ryan Reaves is a tank. That is all.
Hopefully you're nodding your head after reading this. If you are, follow us on Twitter: @bluesbuzzblog. Oh, and get a Schwartz shirt: www.bluesbuzz.bigcartel.com. It wouldn't be an article if I didn't plug that *Shat*(tenkirk) at the end. LGB.