For the first time since 2002 the St. Louis Blues have won a playoff series. Defeating the San Jose Sharks in 5 games. What a long road it has been since their last playoff series win. Just ask Barrett Jackman who is the only remaining Blue from that era. This is a great time to be a Blues fan who just a few years ago was watching the Blues finish in the cellar of the NHL standings. Drafting well, making smart signings in free agency, and bold trades.
For the most part the Blues handled the Sharks well and many times dominated them through most of the series. Not too shocking if you include regular season games, the Blues won 8 of the 9 games played against the Sharks this season. We saw the emergence of Patrik Berglund in the series who has shown to finish strong the last couple seasons as we saw in the World Championships last spring. It is great to watch him excel during the playoffs. How about Andy McDonald? Showing how important he is for the Blues finishing the series with 4 goals and 4 assists in the 5 games versus the Sharks. How about Brian Elliott? What hasn’t this guy done for the Blues? Coming in game 2 after Halak was injured during the second period and finished the shutout. Phenomenal individual efforts in an overall great team play.
Some great positives to take from the series, the Blues went to San Jose and win both games at HP Pavilion aka “Shark Tank”. I thought this was huge considering the Blues had an average at best road record during the regular season. Secondly, the Blues PK was great as usual. Finishing the series killing 15 of 17 power plays the Sharks had during this series. Important to not considering the Sharks were ranked second in the NHL in power play efficiency during regular season play. If the Blues continue strong PK, PP, and have great goal tending as they have all season they’ll continue to do well in this post season.
One negative aspect of the series and even was a trend during the end of the regular season is the ability to close out games late in periods. It happened in both road games vs the Blackhawks, blew a late 2-0 lead to Detroit in the 3rd period at the end of the season. Blew a late game 1, 2-1 lead to San Jose then eventually losing in double OT. This trend needs to end if the Blues are to continue to make a deep run during the playoffs.
As I am writing the LA has beaten Vancouver in 5 games and this will now be the Blues second round match up. I will delve into this series later in the week but for now, let us enjoy the Blues series victory as they continue their path towards the cup. 4 down 12 to go!
About the Author
Written by Tommy Garner
Born and raised in St. Louis. Blues fan and season ticket holder, economist and co-host of The Blue Line podcast featuring none other than your St. Louis Blues. Tune in Sunday at 2pm central time on blogtalkradio.com and give us your thoughts, comments and opinions.