Saturday, March 24, 2018

Berglund Scores Twice, Blues Win Fourth Straight

Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues - Game 74 Recap
Goals: Berglund (11,12), Tarasenko (28) and Jaskin (6)
Record 41-28-5
My thoughts on this game

  • As the season winds down the Blues have cranked things up. They have won three straight games by coming from behind and winning in overtime. Every night it's a different player leading the way. Tonight there would be no come from behind and no overtime, but the third factor held true as we got goals from Berglund and Jaskin in this one. 
  • It didn't take long for the Blues to get on the board. :40 seconds into the first period a Blues rush into the offensive zone with Pietrangelo filling on the right wing and Berglund up the middle led to a goal. It started with Steen along the boards at center ice, he found Petro streaking up the right side. Petro shuffled the puck over to Berglund in some traffic. The big Swede took the puck on his backhand and hoisted it over the blocker side into the upper corner past Vancouver goaltender, Anders Nilsson.
  • In the middle of the first, the Canucks turned up their offensive pressure. In one attack they had 4 shots on goal in the same possession. During the onslaught, Jake made one save with the handle of his stick and the Blues were able to keep the score 1-0 to end the first.
  • The Blues didn't escape the first period without casualties, though. Carl Gunnarsson left the game, barely able to get off the ice. It was announced after the game that he had torn an ACL and would require surgery. He will miss 6 months. Speedy recovery wishes to Carl!
  • The Blues had 2 power plays in the first period. Neither produced any goals. They couldn't even manage a shot on goal during the first one. The second Vancouver penalty came with just a minute left in the first period, so it carried over into the opening minute of the second period.
  • After the Canucks killed off the penalty to start the 2nd, Tage Thompson was called for interference and gave Vancouver a chance with the man advantage at the 2:55 mark.
  • With 10 seconds left in the penalty, Kyle Brodziak poked a puck away from a Canuck into center ice, he was gassed but managed to skate it into the offensive zone and find Berglund, who had slipped into the middle of the ice without anyone around him. He took a stride or two with the puck before his wrist shot again beat Nilsson to give the Blues a 2-0 lead on a short-handed goal. Berglund had his first multi-goal game since March 2017.
  • At the 12:40 mark of the middle period Vince Dunn was called for hooking. The Blues nearly got another short-handed goal when Oskar Sundqvist made a slick toe-drag move to get around the Vancouver defense, but Nilsson managed to stop the puck. 
  • St. Louis killed off the penalty, but 7 seconds after it was over the Sedin twins teamed up and assisted on a Sam Gagner goal. The passing was crisp and clean and they found Gagner open on the back side. Colton Parayko looked to be a little bit late turning and finding Gagner. His goal made it 2-1 and that's score held through the end of the 2nd period.
  • Vladimir Taransenko was back tonight after missing two games with an upper-body injury. He added his 28th goal of the season in an unlikely fashion just 14 seconds into the third period. The Blues won the faceoff to start the period and sent the puck in behind the Vancouver net. Last game's hero, Jaden Schwartz went in on the forecheck and pilfered the puck. He found Vladi in front of the net. Vladi actually turned his back to the goal and pushed a little backhand knuckler towards the goal. It was like it was in slow motion. Nilsson was probably expecting a typical Tarasenko shot and seemed baffled by how slow the puck was coming at him. He went down into the butterfly and the puck slid through his legs to give the Blues a 3-1 lead.
  • After outshooting the Blues 12-4 in the opening period, Vancouver didn't manage much offense after that. St. Louis held them to 5 shots on goal in the middle period and just 3 in the third. Opponents have not gotten a lot of opportunities against them in this recent stretch.
  • Another power-play for St. Louis midway through the third yielded no shots on goal again. It was looking better, I thought when Vladi was out. More pucks got on net. Maybe they are thinking about getting him the puck too much on the power play and they just need to shoot it. Logic tells you if you don't get shots you aren't going to score. 
  • With 2 and a half minutes left in the game, Dimitri Jaskin was rewarded for his recent hard work. He's really been grinding and tonight it paid off. Colton Parayko had the puck out near the blue line. He slid to his left to create a lane to the goal. This time, instead of winding up for that huge slap shot of his, he slid a little soft one towards the goal. It was amazing as three different players touched it on the way in. First, it was Tage Thompson who redirected it, then Sobotka and finally Jaskin who put it in the net. 
  • Hopefully, that will be part of the film study they see as an example of how to score more goals. I've been frustrated with guys always thinking they have to wind up and blast the puck every single time. 
  • Nonetheless, it was a good win and the Blues inched closer to the wild card spot. They find themselves still on the outside looking in and the next 3 opponents are no easy targets. They play in Columbus where the Blue Jackets have won like 10 in a row or something like that. Then they host San Jose on Tuesday before flying back out west for another back-to-back weekend with Vegas and then Arizona.
#AllTogetherNowStL #LGB

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