Now, this is more like it. The team that took the ice this time WANTED to win the game. They worked hard…battled hard…forechecked well – it was a different team to the one that lost to Nashville. The evening started with the Paul Kariya 400th goal Tribute – a short, but very good ceremony during which Paul received the NHL Milestone Award. He also received a gift from the players: a voucher for a surfing trip (to a location of Paul’s choice) together with a customised surfboard. The Blues commissioned a painting for Paul of his 400th goal which contained congratulatory messages from teammates of Paul’s (current and previous) who have also reached this milestone. Here’s a bit of a look at the painting:
Now, onto the game itself. To be honest, it was a bit of a dull first period. Both teams seemed to be playing NOT to lose as opposed to wanting to win. The Blues had opportunities – they had three powerplays in the first period alone – but only managed to generate a paltry 5 shots on goal. Not that Dallas were much better – they managed to muster 7 shots.
In the second period, the game opened up a bit. BJ Crombeen set the tone with a fight with Brandon Segal after 1.39 of the period. The Blues broke through first – Andy McDonald forced a turnover, Polak ripped a shot on goal which Lehtonen couldn’t handle and TJ Oshie knocked in the rebound. This was followed by 2 minutes of 4 on 4 hockey after Roman Polak and James Neal were each called for slashing. The Stars tied the game late in the second period – Jay McClement was called for hooking and the Stars scored on the resulting powerplay. Yet again, the Blues gave up a goal late in a period.
The third period is not usually good for the Blues. This was the exception. Only one penalty was called this period – a high sticking call on Lehtinen after he clouted Mike Weaver – and it was to prove decisive. A scramble in front of net and Colaiacovo dived to the puck and managed to score a powerplay goal. Check out the highlights for his wonderful “rolling on the ice” celebration.
Okay, your game reports:
- The Blues Official Site has the recap, highlights and interviews with Carlo Colaiacovo, TJ Oshie and Davis Payne. The Blues site also has highlights of the Paul Kariya 400th goal ceremony.
- St Louis Game Time sum up the game as only they can.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch notes that the Blues faint playoff hopes continue with comments from Carlo Colaiacovo, Chris Mason and TJ Oshie.
So, the win leaves the Blues 4 points out…with 4 games left to play. Today, Colorado play San Jose and Calgary play Chicago. I know it goes against the grain but we have to hope for the Sharks and Blackhawks to win.