Posted 10:34 AM ET | Comments 1
The Blues and Stars played one of the toughest games I've watched in a long time. Gritty, old school hockey was the name of the game. The goalies, especially Halak, were absolutely huge. Both teams crowded the other out the whole game. An inch or two here and there was going to make the difference. Tough game indeed.
The Stars played with a bit of an edge. They were missing a couple of their big-time players and played like they had to show the world that even without their "stars" they could hang with one of the league's best (holy crap, I can't believe I just wrote that) on their home ice. They did. For about 55 minutes or so it looked like the game was meant to go to shootouts. Then the magic happened.
Hitchcock switched up the lines to start the third period putting Oshie on the top line with Perron and Backes. We're going to be seeing that more often I think, especially when Steen comes back. Perron and Oshie have some of the best chemistry on the team when they're at their best, and Backes only fuels that chemistry by playing his no-nonsense game. On the only goal of the night 74 and 57 combined for one of the classiest pieces of hockey Blues fans have seen all year. It was definitely goal that is typical of how the Blues have been playing under Hitch. Hard fought, slick passing (seriously, great feed from 57), and a classy move to finish it off in the open net. Just for good measure 74 added a dive over the Lehtonen's pads to top it off. Unreal. Had the Hitch-man dreaming of what the future could be.
Last night was a great win, it got the Blues on top of the world, and the way it happened was definitely fitting for the way the Blues can and do win games. Jaro showed us he has no holes when he's on. You don't get to see him use his stick too often with saves. Even that was working. 5 hole?.....closed for business. The team got behind him and his 2 breakaway saves and stuck it out for a hard fought 1-0 win. A few days off and they're back at it against the Oilers at home. The Blues are due for an offensive explosion at some point during this homestand. I think the Oilers are as good a victim as any.
Also, Berglund better pick his play up or he's out. I can't believe he has stuck around as long as he has, quite frankly. His ability is there but he's not putting together a complete game. No more excuses. If he only scores empty netters and garbage time goals he needs to go. We have guys who are hungrier to win waiting in the wings, especially when a certain Russian next year finally shows up in the States. Bergy will be out of a job next season....might be time to move him, and sooner the better.