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It’s getting a bit tired now – and this game was probably one of the final nails in the coffin of the Blues playoff hopes. A couple of bad goals, an inability to capitalise on the powerplay (especially a 4 minute PP) and a quite surprising lack of passion and/or energy in the final few minutes. They were only 1 goal down at that point – but it didn’t look as though they were even trying.
It started well – with a superlative goal from Paul Kariya. He just surged past the Wings defence as though they were standing still and fired the puck past Jimmy Howard. The jury is out as to whether he’s playing for a contract or whether he’s finally fit. I’ll go for the latter option. His hips are good – he’s shaken the rust off and he’s got great chemistry with his linemates. Bring him back? You bet. But not for $6m a year. If he’d accept $2.5m to £3m then I’d snatch his hand off.
So – the Blues go in at the end of P1, 1-0 up. They must have known what would happen. The entire world knew that the Wings would come out hard in the second – except for the Blues it seems. The Wings tied the game within 30 seconds of the restart. The Blues went behind a few minutes later following a Bertuzzi goal that was under review briefly but finally called as a good goal which, to be fair, it was. Then came a high sticking call – and a four minute powerplay for the Blues…which they wasted. A couple of good attacks but the puck was constantly flipped out of the zone by the Wings.
The third period started well when Jay McClement tied the game after just over 2 minutes. The team were playing well, Conklin made some good saves and the energy level seemed high. Then, with just under seven minutes left in the game, a shot from the blue line hit Conklin and bounced right into the path of Filppula who flipped the puck into the net. That goal seemed to take the wind out of the Blues. Even after pulling Conklin in the final couple of minutes for the extra attacker, they seemed lacklustre – and the empty net goal for the Wings was an obvious conclusion.
So basically the Blues have 9 games left and are 10 points behind the Red Wings who are in the final playoff spot. It’ll take the Blues winning all their remaining games and hoping for a mini Wing collapse in order for them to make the playoffs. But maybe it’d be for the best if they don’t make it. Maybe it’ll shock them into life a bit – because those final few minutes were atrocious.
Anyway – your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has the game report and highlights.
- St Louis Game Time make note of the shaky goaltending amongst other things.
- Dan O’Neill of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues playoff hopes take a battering with comments from David Backes and Ty Conklin.
I can’t wrap this up without putting up the video of Kariya’s wonderful goal last night. Enjoy – we don’t know how much longer he’ll be wearing the jersey for: