Blues Implode, Face Huge Deficit
Typically these game recaps run between 500 and 1,000 words. Tonight we need just one word to summarize - Dreadful. We've seen the Blues look sluggish out of the gate. We've seen them make some mental errors and look like a shy, timid team at times during the regular season. Then there's whatever that was in tonight's first period. The Blues were dominated in the first period. Dominated with a capital "D". Use any cliche you like, it applies to the Blues in the first period. This first period debacle puts the Blues in one big hole as the series shifts to Los Angeles. Thing can't get much worse, right? As a hockey fan and most importantly a Blues fan, I've watched a whole bunch of games over the years. I've seen the Blues play some tremendous hockey. I've also seen them play some awful hockey. The first period of Game 2 was a new low. The pressure was high and the Blues crumbled like a team that was literally trembling to face their opponent. The Blues needed a result and instead got pummeled in what was what I could safely label as one of the most embarrassing and disheartening periods in franchise history. You won't find a recap here. We all witnessed whatever that was. We all know what the team did wrong. The first period left even the most vocal fan speechless. It silenced what could have been a loud and spirited crowd. It was unbelievable and unthinkable. Fans, myself included, scratched their heads as the Blues sank deeper and deeper, longing for the first period horn to stop the bleeding. How can the Blues move past this and plan for Game 3? The answer is actually rather simple. The team did play some good hockey in Game 2. Unfortunately, it only came out when the game was all but already lost. The Blues played pretty well in the second and third period and actually bested the Kings in shots 24-5 in the final two periods. They actually won the goals battle 2-1. There are some positives to draw here. However, it's beyond worrisome that the Blues didn't shift into "Let's play hockey" mode until the Kings had basically put the game out of reach. Even when they did climb back into it (using this term loosely) they let LA shut the door with vigor (Justin Williams' goal in the 2nd). After that the Blues played some pretty good hockey, but let's not congratulate them too much for limiting LA to just five shots in the final 40 minutes when they sat back and urged LA to score numerous times in the first. Simply put, the Blues must figure out how to bring their best, which I assume is what we saw in the second and third, when the pressure is on. The Blues need to act and stop reacting. Heading to LA the Blues are in a world of hurt. The team is 1-16 in franchise history when facing an 0-2 deficit. They now oppose a rival that has a complete, and I mean complete, lock on the momentum. They came into the Scottrade and laughed in the Blues' faces. They made a mockery of the second seed in the West. The checklist for Game 3 is lengthy and will be in a different post. For now, the Blues need to start planning on how to bail out this sinking ship. Until they have a sturdy plan, no player should be allowed any sleep - they all napped plenty in the first period.