We're not in 2019 anymore folks and that is very apparent. Game 2 was by no means a dud in the effort department for the St. Louis Blues as they outshot the Canucks 37-25 and were about 2 inches away from winning the game in OT. If that puck doesn't hit Markstrom's arm and trickles in, we are all singing a different tune right now, but this is a result's business! The Blues now must beat the Vancouver Canucks 4 out of the next 5 games to advance to the second round and keep the season alive.
Can they do it? Of course they can, but a lot of things are going to have to change and QUICK. Instead of harping on all the negative, here are the good signs that make me think they can change this up fast:
- Games 3 and 4 are on back to back days. A couple bounces here and there and this series could EASILY be 2-2 on Monday night, and from there its a brand new start. The momentum from day to day is sure to be a dangerous pendulum and we could be knotted up or leaving the bubble in a span of 24 hours. Buckle up.
- The Blues were PRETTY DAMN GOOD in their road whites last year and maybe they will trigger some sort of subconscious confidence that causes them to dominate like its 2019.
(I know it went off Schwartz after this but it doesn't happen without 57)
- David Perron continues to contribute at a high clip and is keeping the Blues in games when no one else is. If we can somehow witness 91 come alive at the same time as Perron, we will be cooking with gas.
- Jordan Binnington has not been his normal self and you KNOW that he will return to form. I've never seen a goalie in my entire life like the one that carried the Blues to the first Stanley Cup in history last year and I will not be one to doubt him. He has proven time and time again that he is extremely resilient and has a fire in him like no other. He will find his game again and be back.
- Tyler Myers is a big part of the Canucks back end and also a huge physical presence. Obviously Hughes is the main attraction and still is the biggest problem for the Blues on the back end, but increasing his workload could hinder his explosiveness… at least I hope so.
- At least neither of the Blues goalies have opted out and left the bubble in the past day or two. That is a plus.
- The Back to Back games gives the Blues a chance to use Jake Allen without a dramatic goalie controversy. I would not be surprised if he started tomorrow's game just to give Binnington a rest and let him wait for Game 4. Could allow him to reset and re-focus. We will know soon and people will overreact either way, but I don't think the outcome is with the goalie, but rather the guys in front of him. I think those guys are going to take care of business whether its a shooter tutor or Dominik Hasek in the cage today.
- With Rask's comments and subsequent departure paired with tweets like the one above, a 2-0 hole is sure to start stirring feelings of "whatever this COVID Cup is stupid anyways and doesn't even count". The Blues have a really clear decision to make, either pack it up and decide "Hey at least we won last year with fans and a parade… this bubble shit is stupid anyways" OR they can take their nuts in their hand and give a healthy thumping to this young Canucks team and remind them they are the defending champs. Bo Horvat is embarrassing them so far. He is scoring dipsy doo goals that are a middle finger to the Blues over and over again. So far you can't tell which team is supposed to be the ones who have been there before and the talented young guys. The veteran Blues can set the record straight on who they still are, or they can chalk it up as a weird fan-less tournament and get excited to go back on summer break.
They jump on them early, get a couple bounces, and this is a BRAND NEW series folks. If you are doubting this team and they have lost the benefit of the doubt after that run last year, then winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history really does not get you what it used to.