This was simply a sight for sore eyes. Not only did the Blues defeat their biggest rivals in the NHL, they did so by overcoming one of their biggest problems this season–holding on to a third period lead. After Roman Polak’s tiebreaking goal with just under nine minutes left in the third period, Blues fans collectively held their breath, put down their Budweiser’s and tightened their loose muscles. Will the team be able to close this game out? Or will this contest go the way of their last game against these very same Blackhawks? I stated in my previous column good teams find ways to finish their opponents off. The Blues finally were able to do just that.
Clinging on to a 3-2 lead, Patrik Berglund pounced on a rebound and scored a key power play goal with just 1:05 remaining in the game. That two goal cushion allowed the Blues and their fans to relax, knowing this game was over. Maybe, just maybe, this result will provide the team with the confidence they need knowing they are good enough to finish their opponents off when they have them on the ropes. This win just may be one of those games where you look back on months later and realize how much the team grew and learned.
*David Perron–Wow. Another highlight reel goal from #57. Perron has incredible hands, creativity and vision. After a slow start, he now has four goals in his last two games, all against Marty Turco. In this game, Perron netted two goals on three shots, finished at a plus three in 16:33 total time on the ice. He has the ability to take over games. The only question that remains is he able to do this on a consistent basis? He has the skills, does he have the mental strength needed to elevate himself into NHL stardom?
*T.J. Oshie–is quickly establishing a great fit playing on a line with Perron and David Backes. Oshie finished this game with two assists and two shots on goal in 18:34 total time on the ice. He showed why he is considered a complete player. Now let’s just improve in the faceoff circle. Oshie won only three of 11 draws. That area of his game must improve for him to fully be recognized as a first line centerman.
*Eric Brewer–the man Blues fans love to hate. I really have never understood this sensitive and unfortunate relationship Blues fans have with their captain. Of course he is no Chris Pronger. But that comparison should have never been developed. Brewer has been outstanding thus far this season. In this game Brewer led all Blues players in ice time at 22:33. He also finished at a plus three. Good for Brewer, who is one of the most popular and likeable players in the dressing room.
*Home ice–something the Blues did not take advantage of last season. So far, the team is 3-0 at home. To put it into perspective, the Blues did not win their third game at home last season until November 19. Home wins over Philadelphia, Anaheim and Chicago have delighted and inspired the fans. The Blues have a real opportunity to grab their fans and not let go. With the Cardinals season long over with, this town can really start to bleed Blue. Now let’s see if the team can put a stamp on their home ice by taking care of Sidney Crosby and company.
About the Author
Written by Dave Frederick
Dave has spent more than 20 years covering the NHL for a variety of different media outlets. Most notably ESPN, Fox Sports and the National Hockey League.