I Get Well And We Get A Win !

 Funny how that seems to be connected , huh ? Yeah , I finally beat that oh so terrifying H1N1 garbage (after five days of suffering) and Our Stars win . It is just too much of a coincidence .
 
 Before the game , I was talking about different players and my wife decided she loves to say “Tkachuk” and “Afinogenov” . For half the game she was chanting , ” Tkachuk , Tkachuk , Tkachuk ” and not because she liked the player , but because she said it made her sound like a train . Anyway ……..

 We all knew that Modano and Lehtinen were going to be out for this game (they did not even make the trip) . Seeing that Niskanen was out was kind of upsetting , but not a shock . That was a vicious slew foot that Artyukin put on him . Even missing those three guys , Our team still did excellent .

 The first period pretty much started out with Barch and King fighting . Barch certainly got better than he gave , but oddly King did not come back for the rest of the game (kind of makes you re-evaluate who really won the fight) . The Blues were spending a lot of time in their own zone right from the start . Robidas was called for holding the stick , but the resulting powerplay from the Blues was no real threat to us . A little later , Mike Ribeiro beat Ty Conklin but hit the post instead of the net . Sutherby and Winchester had a go , but despite the fact that Winchester threw more punches , very few landed . Late in the period , Loui Eriksson was called for a highstick . While the powerplay was scary , the Blues still could not score . Of course , Karlis Skrastins blocking two consecutive shots right in the faceguard probably helped to keep things scoreless . This period was very good hockey despite the enormous amount of turnovers by both teams . The odd-man rushes against us occurred far too often . Even with more than the occasional odd-man rush , we still defended well . When we did not defend well , Marty stood tall and refused to allow anything past him .

 The second period started with the Blues still on  the powerplay for very few seconds . The exceptionally brief powerplay had little to no effect on the free-wheeling hockey that followed . After Our Stars had had enough , Marty passed the puck to James Neal who took the line . He then passed it to Richards and continued his drive to the net . Richards saw Neal sneak to an open spot on the ice and he buried the puck quickly in the back of the net . Marty’s pass beat the three Blues forwards . That allowed Neal to get open . Shortly after that , Ott went in for a hip check on Colaiacovo . Colaiacovo jumped up for whatever reason and the hipcheck looked worse than it would have been . Ott did not mean for that fool to land on the back of his neck . Unfortunately , he did and that brought out everybody and they  all wanted some of poor , innocent Steve Ott . Both Ott and Fistric sat for two minutes and Tkachuk sat for a double minor . Late in the first powerplay , Richards spotted Eriksson after he spun out a defender and faked out the others with a fake shot and Eriksson buried it . The rest of the period was pretty much a Conga line to the penalty boxes . The Blues were the ones who took the vast majority of the penalties . There was boarding , crosschecking , slashing and I am sure a few other penalties (both real and imagined) thrown in . There were so many that it was hard to figure out exactly what was going on . Either way , we won this period . I was pleased with our play . We did not give up anything that hurt us despite a few frightening moments .

 The third period went smoothly along until Robidas was mauled in the corner . After the two billion penalties called in the second , the refs failed to call the crosscheck(s) that he received . They did not miss the weak hook that The Cap’n was penalized for . Marty pretty well killed off the entire powerplay by himself . He would catch the puck behind the net and casually toss it all the way down the ice . Almost as soon as the powerplay ended , Ott drove hard and fast into the Blues’ zone , passed it off to Brunnstrom who was also driving the net . He took his shot , was denied and was plowed by two Blues players . The Blues missed coverage on Tom Wandell who picked up the rebound and tossed it in rather easily . Immediately after the brief celebration (and checking to make sure Brunnstrom knew where he was) , Grossman took a shot that hit the pipe . A short time later , Tkachuk was called for crosschecking Wandell in the back and into the boards . The resulting powerplay looked more like a Blues powerplay and Marty had to make some huge saves . After the powerplay ended , Brian Sutherby proved that not every Stars player was done playing and stole the puck at center ice . He promptly put the puck past Ty Conklin . Cam Janssen got all bent out of shape and took a run at Jeff Woywitka . Janssen promptly took a four-minute personal timeout . Brunnstrom took a hooking call that negated half of the powerplay that we were not doing that much on anyway . With a little over four minutes left in the game , we all started standing around instead of skating . Then , with three minutes and fifty seconds left , Pietrangelo took a shot that Woywitka decided to play goalie on . Unfortunately , Marty would have had it in his glove had Woywitka not deflected it up and over Marty’s glove . In the final two minutes , Ott had a knee on knee hit with B.J. Crombeen . Crombeen took exception to it and both of them got five for fighting but Crombeen took the instigator .

 This was over all a good game . The only thing that would have made it a great game would have been if we did not simply slack off with our defense in the final four minutes . Yes , we did keep them from scoring more than one , but it should have been a shutout . When we get standing and too comfortable , we can still lose the game even with four minutes left . It happened with the Kings , remember ?

 What did go right was that we all played – and we all played smart . Nobody became so fouled up that they could not be helped out by their teammate . Everybody did their jobs .

 We moved the puck well especially out of our own zone . The issues that we struggled with against the Kings were not present . We need to continue the puck support that we had in this game .

 MY STARS of the game ;
 1. Marty Turco – I know that he was named the first Star by the folks up there but , who can argue with his performance . The only mistake he made was ……. um….. um……. not clearing Woywitka out from in front of him ?
 2. Loui Eriksson – He also earned the same Star of the game at the St. Louis arena but I am giving to him anyway . He earns this for the way he tracked the puck . He did so well that he reminded me a lot of my favorite player . The goal that he scored was just the icing on the cake .
 3. Brad Richards – He literally made two of the goals possible . I know assists are not the same as goals , but he was the one who made them both possible . He saw the ice very well . I think he is finally back on his “A” game and I am glad .

 Honourable mentions ; 
 James Neal – He always brings his “A” game . His goal was a result of that awesome shot he has .
 Brenden Morrow – He never gave up playing the puck – even when he probably should have .
 Brian Sutherby –  Are you kidding ? That steal at center ice and then the blast into the net was great to watch . I loved it .
 Alex Auld – He made a save on the bench . If he had not made that save , one of  the training staff or equipment staff guys would have taken that puck right in his head . This is a first for me . I have never given any award to a player who did not skate in the game .

 I know our record of 7-2-4 is not as good as a 9-2-0 record but , I would rather have OUR record and OUR players than that whiner Crosby . Ovechkin is better anyway but we will never be able to sign either so it does not really matter which is better .

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~ by Adam on October 26, 2009.

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