Defying all the nonbelievers, the Blues got the overtime win in tonight’s thrilling Game 1.
I have no words to describe how much I’ve hated waiting these past few days. It’s been so discouraging listening to everyone rehash last year’s meeting between the two teams as well as the four meetings this regular season. I found myself more excited for Game 1 because it would mean people could stop running their mouths than I was about actual hockey.
But it would appear that the naysayers have been effectively silenced, at least for now. Tonight the Blues refused to be denied.
The most important thing is that you watch Alexander Steen‘s game winner in overtime, because it was absolute perfection. Actually, if you already saw it, you should watch it again.
Steen’s unassisted goal was the first shorthanded overtime playoff goal in the NHL since 2006, and the first ever in Blues history. (@NHL @STLBluesHistory) The goal was on a giveaway from Jonathan Quick; it “picked Quick’s pocket” according to @lakings. Kevin Shattenkirk, whose high-sticking penalty had the Blues shorthanded to begin with, said he almost knocked the penalty box official out of the way trying to get out of the box when Steen scored. (@jprutherford) Someone’s a little anxious for celebratory hugs. And possibly to offer to buy dinner. (@lkorac10)
And how about our four making their playoff debut in tonight’s game? Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter, Jaden Schwartz and Jay Bouwmeester all played in their first NHL playoff game tonight. Two of them, Jaden Schwartz and Adam Cracknell, even made it into the 3 Stars of tonight’s game! They took #2 and #3, respectively, with Alex Steen naturally taking #1. Schwartz never gave up, leading the Blues with 6 SOG. So far, we’ve got four players who are 1 for 1 in the playoffs so far. That’s a stat I’m alright with.
The Blues as a whole played their hearts out tonight. They even earned kudos from Wil Wheaton, a devout Kings fan, for their intense play during regulation. Even though it was a 2-1 game, it certainly doesn’t feel right to only be able to write about three goals. Tonight’s contest was energetic and hard-hitting. The Blues’ first goal was by Steen, putting in a pretty rebound from Shattenkirk in the first period on the power play. The Kings’ only goal came from Justin Williams with just over 30 seconds left in regulation, and Brian Elliott said later that it went off the stick of Barret Jackman, causing him to not react well. (@lkorac10) Both goaltenders played incredibly, Brian Elliott stopping 28 of 29 to Quick’s 40 of 42.
I’m not sure which is more noteworthy, Ken Hitchcock commenting that it would be tough waking up tomorrow if the Blues had lost this game, (@jprutherford) or that he affirmed that the hockey gods were watching out for us tonight. (@jprutherford)
Dear everyone who prophesied the Blues would choke from the get-go, that they couldn’t give the Kings a tough game, the Blues have one message for you. Oh yes we can. And, for good measure, oh yes we did.