If Game 2 between the Blackhawks and Blues is anything like Game 1 was, it could go on for another 5-6 periods.
I for one sincerely hope so.
The Blackhawks lost every first road game during last season’s march to their Stanley Cup win. They lost opening games in Minnesota, Detroit, Los Angeles and Boston.
None of those games went into a third overtime.
None of the other games through the opening three days of Stanley Cup play have gone much past two overtime periods. Montreal beat Tampa in G1 in one or two OTs but I know it wasn’t three.
Colorado beat Minnesota in one OT.
With the way both of these teams are matched up against each other, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Chicago, obviously, defending Cup champs, have everything. St. Louis on the other hand, does not, but they are going to prove to be a worthy opponent. St. Louis has done well in recent drafts, and thanks to this year’s trade deadline, now they have an experience netminder too, in Ryan Miller.
But Game 1 for this team was huge, after playing on for 20-minutes-short-of-two-full-games, they got that all-important first win of the series…against a team like Chicago that is huge.
It takes some of the pressure off them for today’s Game 2. Makes you wonder what Coach Q’s mentality is for this one…coach as if you are losing the series, and hope it somehow makes the players work even harder to win Game 2, or go with the take-it-as-it comes approach (keep the pressure of, capitalize on the other team’s mistakes etc etc).
I believe that Chicago will possibly be their biggest test throughout these playoffs. I was one of the ones hoping that they wouldn’t get paired up with Chicago in the opening round. Anybody but Chicago. San Jose and LA are heavy hitters too, but Chicago is the one team, that a four-game victory over them, should give them everything they need to advance two more rounds-at least in terms of confidence.
There are a couple reasons to believe this year’s Blues have what it takes:
-Goaltending: Ryan Miller didn’t opt to leave Buffalo because he really hated it that much. He left it because he knew there was no way he was ever going to win a Stanley Cup there. He might in St. Louis.
-Offence: with added experience from last year: With some worry on the injury front to Oshie, Tarasenko and I think Backes, this team still had enough scoring power to get it done in Game 1, thanks to Alexander Steen. Apart from Oshie missing action for possibly as many as the next four games, says Head Coach Ken Hitchcock, Patrik Berglund is also likely to miss today’s Game 2. Both Oshie and Berglund are listed as upper body; Oshie’s came from a hit to the head April 10 against the Minnesota Wild.
“We kind of know every morning, the game day, who’s in,” said Hitchcock who added “today was a good day for the guys that were out.”
-Head coach: Hitchcock knows what it takes to win in this league.
In 2010 he won the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year
The following year, he got his 600th NHL win, a 2-1 win shootout win over Vancouver
And he won a Stanley Cup in 1998-99 with Dallas, and he is now in his third straight playoff experience with the Blues.