Like this wrap was ever going to come last night.
Normally, you’d come here for some shrewd analysis and a couple insults/jokes about the game. Today I don’t feel like that. Feels like something a little more emotional is needed. For most of the season, I’ve been accused of being overly negative, much too extreme. And you know, that’s basically correct. While I think it is our job to poke holes in common narratives (for instance, the utter hokum that was “Dark Horse Norris Candidate) there have been times where I’ve been sour just for the sake of it. As most of you know, this season hasn’t been all that much fun for any of us here. Whether you agree with that or not, I think we’ve illustrated pretty clearly why so you could understand. The Hawks have made themselves a hard organization to root for, and those complaints and feelings are still very much present. I’ve let that boil over at times, and I know that. I’ve openly rooted for opponents or made it clear I didn’t care if the season ended on Thursday or last night. That’s over the top.
And then games like last night happen, and you are thoroughly reminded why you bothered in the first place.
Last night was bonkers. You couldn’t help but giggle at all of it. The 2nd period was basically an EDM party and all the drinks were laced. You couldn’t help but get swept up in it. And then adding to it the sheer hilarity and fun of #RallyRandy, and I was having the time of my life. I don’t know if the Hawks will win tomorrow night, but I know that we’ll remember Game 6 for a while. And if the silliness on Twitter, as throughly dumb and funny as it was, helped enhance your enjoyment of last night’s game, then it’s a pleasure to have been a small part of it. Playoff hockey, man. It’s just too much at times. Sometimes they reach a pace and nature that rise above any reasoning or analysis. That’s what last night felt like.
Or maybe I just really enjoy watching the Blues Blues all over themselves. I love that “Blues” is now a verb. I love that we could be on the precipice of the Blues-iest moment ever.
Anyway, let’s try some analysis, shall we?
-So Ken Hitchcock, you take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, and you did that overcoming the first goal against you and by simply flying at the Hawks at every turn. The Blues played at a pace the Hawks simply couldn’t keep up with, and every time the Hawks tried to match them they were torn open. It looked like it was going to get really ugly. It probably should have.
And then the Blues just backed up. Instead of going for the kill, instead of aiming to blow out and embarrass the Hawks on their ice, they tried to lock it down for 40 minutes. This is what Game 1 would have looked like with just a bit more luck for the Hawks. But after five games, they found the cracks on Brian Elliott. Those who do not learn from history…
-Almost every Blues d-man can claim a fuck up for a goal. Kirk Shattenkevin with a ridiculous turnover that even this Andrew Ladd couldn’t miss. Jabe O’Meester getting beat for speed to give away a power play that iced the game. Pietrangelo and O’Meester losing Toews to the outside and not cutting off the middle. Colton Parayko on the wrong side and facing the wrong way for Weise’s eventual winner. Gunnarsson getting turned around by Ladd, and both he and Shattenkevin abandoning the front leading to Anisimov’s goal. Drink it in.
-You can’t help but love that early in the series when all Blues fans and national writers couldn’t stop from going, “Look at this Parayko kid!” utterly ignoring that he behaves in his own zone like a small child who got hold of a can of Monster and the parents aren’t anywhere to be found. Watch Weise’s goal again and try and count the amount of things wrong. You might pass out.
-As for Elliott, first goal over the glove. Second another bad rebound. Third and fourth where had to move post to post. Sensing something?
-While TVR should get the credit for beating Brouwer up the ice to net the equalizer, he still has two of the goals against on his plate too. While Seabrook’s pinch leading to Upshall’s goal was horrific and the main culprit, it’s TVR’s job to take the pass away and let Crow concentrate on Ott who wouldn’t have been able to score if you gave him a bazooka. For Tarasenko’s goal TVR was caught outside the dots chasing Schwartz who was not a danger on the boards, turning it into a 2-on-1 for Hammer with only Tarasenko alone at the circle. Those who do not learn…
-I can’t wait for Hitch to try and prove a point to Tarasenko in Game 7. It’s Keenan-Roenick all over again.
I don’t know what the Hawks could possibly have left. They looked so tired at times in Game 5, the 2nd period last night basically came as an utter shock. As we’ve said, there is so much more riding on this for the Blues than the Hawks. The entire direction of the team hinges on Monday for the Blues. The direction of the team won’t change for the Hawks no matter what happens. They’ve squandered their two chances with no consequences, and they tell us this time it’s different. Well, it isn’t until they actually get a fourth win this series, and they played scared for the last 40 minutes last night. And they’ll have to knock out the most assured and confident team in recent hockey history.