Goals: Berglund (15,16,17) and Schwartz (23)
My thoughts on this game
- I'm thinking now that maybe we were a little too hard on Patrik Berglund early on this season. Maybe the shoulder injury that caused him to miss 24 games to start the season affected him more than we realized. Whether that's true or not, he certainly has turned his game up a few notches since he was called out and benched a few weeks ago.
- If you didn't see the game or read anything about it yet, (by the way...where have you been?!) Berglund had a hat trick in this one. He has now scored 8 goals and has 9 points in his last 10 games. He's playing like a new man.
- Carter Hutton got the start in this one, and in a rare move the Blues called up Ville Husso as the backup so that Jake Allen could have a complete night off and be totally rested for the must-win game tomorrow night in Denver against the Avalanche.
- The Blues need to just secure one point to earn their 7th straight playoff appearance. This marks the first time in the history of the team that it has come down to the last game in order to secure their spot.
- The only other thing I thought the Blues could have done was to have sent Jake on out to Colorado a couple of days early in order to give him a little more time to adjust to the altitude. It sounds like they thought of everything else, why not?
- The Blues had several chances early on in this game but missed out on those opportunities until Berglund tipped a Joel Edmundson shot that found it's way into the net with just 1:43 left in the first period.
- Chicago tied it on a shot by Erik Gustafsson who caught Hutton not hugging the near post. I'm sure many of our minds raced back to just two nights earlier when we saw the Blues collapse in the final period against these same Blackhawks.
- We weren't allowed to daydream for long, though. Bergulicious scored his 2nd goal just 16 seconds later. In fact, the PA announcer hadn't even announced the Gustafsson goal yet before the Big Swede poked home a rebound after Robert Bortuzzo's shot hit Kyle Brodziak in the back. Bergie knocked it out of the air into the net. It may have bounced before he hit it but it sounds better if you say he hit it out of mid-air.
- Poor Chicago fans didn't even get to cheer about their goal as the St. Louis goal put them back in front. It would turn out to be the game-winner.
- They added to the lead when one of my two favorite players, Brayden Schenn got in on the forecheck and just absolutely stole the puck from someone. It was just a flat hustle play. Mr. Hustle, we should call him. I love athletes who hustle! It makes up for so much. I always tried to hustle, no matter what and I just can't get enough of seeing it. They called Pete Rose "Charlie Hustle" and I think Schenn deserves a similar moniker.
- Anyway, I digress. Schenn 'pinched in', as they say, and got the puck. He took it straight to the back of the net and looked for his little buddy, Jaden Schwartz, (my other favorite player). He found him right where he knew he'd be, in the slot in front of the goal. Jaden wasted no time in putting the puck past the Chicago goalie.
- Side note, I even contemplated having "SchwartzSchenn" put on the back of my jersey. Then, I thought "HirSchwartz" or "HirSchenn". My last name is Hirsch, so I thought it would be clever, but decided against it as I felt most would be confused and would have led to questions I'd rather not answer.
- Bergie got an empty-net goal for his 2nd career hat trick. I was listening to the game on the radio and was in a Target store at the time. I didn't have a hat on, but I was in the men's clothing section. The clerk paged security when I started throwing hats, but the situation was diffused when I offered to pick them all up and explained that I was a Blues fan.
- Randomness: Chicago is FAST at getting it up ice when they get the puck. Did anyone else notice that? I mean when they got possession, they were moving in the other direction immediately on the attack. Impressive.
- More randomness: Kyle Brodziak is another guy who could be one of my favorite players if Schenn and Schwartz weren't already there. So could a lot of other Blues players. I don't dislike any of them. I just have my favorites. Anyway, Brodziak is a player that I'm not sure we realize where we'd be without him. He is a lifetime 49.7% faceoff guy. However, in the last 5 games he has won 59.5%, many in key situations. In the game Wednesday against Chicago he won 10 of 13 for 76.9%.
- I've got a Kyle Brodziak autographed "Military" themed puck, and that's the way I think of him. I think of him as a soldier. He gives his heart and soul for the good of the team every night and we are lucky to have him. I hope he's back again next year.
- On to Colorado. All we have to do is get it to overtime, but I hope we put it to them early and often. Let's not sit back and 'hope' we get to overtime. Let's get it done early, boys!