The NHL made its ruling today on Sharks’ captain Joe Thornton’s hit on Blues forward David Perron. Two Sharks games will be played without Thornton in the lineup.
Some Blues fans are calling for the hammer to be brought down on Thornton, while others felt it was not that dirty. So, what determines a dirty hit by NHL standards?
… I don’t know. The truth is… well, no one knows. It seems that NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell and NHL vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy reached into their hat and pulled out the card that read, “two-game suspension.”
Revenge was the name of the game in Nashville.
Losing two weeks ago to the Predators for their only regulation loss thus far, the Blues came out looking like they wanted the victory tonight. After a rocky start for both teams that saw the puck bounce every play, the first period produced 15 Blues shots and 8 Predator shots. But the story of the period came at about the 8:14 mark when Patrick Hornqvist took a bobbling puck from Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo’s stick and came in on Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak 1-on-1. He took the shot and Halak was ready with the big mit and robbed the Predators forward with a huge save to keep the game scoreless.
After Alex Pietrangelo hit the post late in the first period, Patrik Berglund skated the puck in on an odd-man rush near the middle of the second period and hit yet another post. He ripped a shot from the right face-off circle that beat Predators goalie Pekka Rinne over his right shoulder, but the puck hit off the pipe and flew to the far boards out of the reach of any of Berglund’s teammates.
We all know this story. Husband makes wife upset. Husband is chastised all night until he returns home the next day with a bouquet of flowers. Wife is happy and things are good until the husband screws up again.
This is something that can be related to the St. Louis Blues and their fans. After a loss to the Nashville Predators, the Blues faced-off with the Dallas Stars in Texas. The Blues came out with energy and held a comfortable 2-0 lead after just four minutes of play. Even after controlling most of the game, the Stars battled back and got the 3-2 win in the shootout. Heartbreaker? Not so much. After all, the game was 2-2 going into the third period. It was a hard-fought win by the Stars. But the fans saw a fight brewing.
Two nights later in Chicago, the Blues had the same 2-0 lead but brought it into the third period. David Perron seemed to be juiced on something in this game, scoring two big goals and bringing the fans alive in their living rooms. But with just under seven minutes left, Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal for the Blackhawks to cut the Blues’ lead in half, and then scored again in the overtime period on poor defensive coverage by the Blues. The name-calling and finger-pointing ensued by LetsGoBlues.com members.
Another game, another third period disappointment.
After going up 2-0 on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, the Blues squabbled yet another third period lead to lose in overtime.
Both goalies played brilliant as Marty Turco made 32 saves, while Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves on the night.
You could dispute that the best save for Halak came about halfway through the first, but why would you? After Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was shoved into Halak by Blackhawks forward Fernando Pisani, the two skaters fell in the crease. Sprawled on his knees with traffic everywhere around him, Halak grabbed a shot from midair after the puck found its way to Duncan Keith at the point, who one-timed a shot right on net. Halak was able to cover up to get the whistle. This play made Blues fans realize why even the Oilers don’t want Pisani anymore.
Two big wins. One was an exciting overtime win and the other was a boat race in favor of the Blues. So currently sitting on the good side of the Central Division standings, the Blues look confident heading into game three of the 82-game grind. Can they keep this play up or is this just a fluke?
Allow some negativity for a moment. Game one was a sloppy and choppy game that saw the Blues get the last lucky bounce when it mattered. The Flyers were without their all-star defenseman, Chris Pronger, and also featured the always-streaky goaltender, Brian Boucher. Game two was against the Anaheim Ducks, who showcase a softer defense than that other side of Sears we keep hearing about. The Ducks’ offense has been non-existent as well, shooting just 14 shots at Halak and averaging 24.0 shots per game, currently placing them 29th in the league.
Also, remember how the Blues started the season in Stockholm last season and shut down their rival Detroit Red Wings in the first two games of the season? They followed it up with a flop at home against the Thrashers 4-2, and then ended with the ninth best record in the Western Conference, which is not good enough to make the playoffs.