Here we go again for the Blues. They have put themselves in a hole similar to the beginning of the season.
Except this time, they are needing a four-game win streak to stay in the playoffs. Vancouver has got St. Louis right where they want them; the Blues are down 3-0 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
There is no better time than now to start winning. Besides, they have nothing to lose except the series. They can either dig the hole deeper and go ride the golf carts in the offseason, or they can get their game together and win four straight.
I think they would rather not have to watch the finals of American Idol when they could be playing the game of hockey for the Cup. Yet Vancouver has had the better of the Blues all three games.
If we take a look at the stats for the combined games, we can see Vancouver has a slight edge.
Vancouver St. Louis
Shots= 84 82
Goals= 8 3
PP= 4-16 1-17
Penalties= 23 23
Faceoffs won= 96 92
Hits= 68 82
+/- +11 -11
Blocked shots= 39 43
The best player on the ice is Roberto Luongo. He is 3-0 in the playoffs and continues make the Blues frustrated. He has only allowed three goals on 82 shots.
Mason has been solid but still can't get a win. He has made a lot of big saves when needed. He has allowed eight goals on 84 shots (one of them was an empty net goal).
St. Louis has mentioned Paul Kariya possibly coming back for game four. That might help the Blues with opportunities to score. But if they don't stop getting bad penalties, they will find themselves in a bigger mess. Vancouver has had just as many penalties, but has had a great penalty kill.
Its seems to me that Vancouver has just capitalized on their chances while St. Louis hasn't. The difference is really a simple fact of anticipating the play better than the other team and sustaining pressure in the offensive zone.
But we all know it's easy for us to write these observations for everyone to read. Yet it's a whole different story coming up with the results on the ice.
I do know one thing. St. Louis has spoiled their fans with their winning style for the second half of the season (25-9-7). They went 9-1 the last 10 games and have been a sight for sore eyes, to say the least.
They made the postseason and are now once again struggling, but the fact that they are there means it's not really so negative after all. They know they will have to overcome adversity and get some redemption in this series.
Last time I checked, it's a seven-game series. Go Blues!