One Game at a Time
The Blues are on the brink of elimination heading into Game 4 on Sunday afternoon. The task is daunting and overwhelming. The team needs to win four consecutive games. Based on how badly the Blues have been beaten in games one through three, the task at hand seems nearly impossible. The Blues and their fans need to keep things in perspective and remember - one game at a time.
We all know the Blues have their back up against the wall. We all know path to the third round went from a hill to a mountain but that doesn't change the fact the Blues need to look at this series individually. Game 5 doesn't happen if the Blues can't find a positive result in Game 4. Focus on the very game at hand and only that game.
For the Blues that means focus on Sunday and Sunday alone. Don't think about the fact you're in such a hole, just think that you're playing one, single game that you need to come out as the winning side. This attitude not only helps players and fans cope with the situation mentally but it might finally spark some life into the fairly lifeless squad we saw in Game 1, Game 2 and Game 3. It's quite literally now or never. Stand up and show some life. Show some pride. You won't be given a second chance.
Time for some Game 4 specifics.
Ken Hitchcock hasn't announced any roster changes but if he does you'll hear about them here at Frozen Notes. That being said, we know Brian Elliott will once again be in net. It's vital he performs better than he did in Game 3. The Blues can not afford to have momentum zapped by a soft goal. We can also assume Chris Stewart will be in the lineup after his two goals in Game 3. Outside of these two men it's tough to say what Hitchcock will do. The Blues need a spark. Does that mean a massive overhaul to the lineup?
Personally, I'd like to see Ryan Reaves get some playing time. I felt he should have been used in Game 2. After seeing he was benched in Game 2 I thought the Blues should use him in Game 3. Reaves has consistently fired up the Blues all season long. Why not use him when nearly the entire roster is stuck in a funk? This is one area I've disagreed with Hitchcock on. Reaves could have made a difference in this series, especially after the hit on Alex Pietrangelo by Dwight King. His playing style is exactly what the Blues have been lacking up and down their lineup. He works hard, plays harder and won't be pushed around physically.
The Blues did play better hockey in Game 3 but I'm not sure they played well enough to avoid roster changes.