1) On the goalie interference stuff: Elliott got ran twice in his crease, but the puck was not there. TSN crew mentioned referee O'Halloran saying he would call the goalie interference if the puck were there. WTF kind on nonsense is that?? Aren't the officials supposed to be protecting the goalie from that crap? They certainly were not protecting Elliott. About 5 minutes later, Niemi is playing the puck behind the net. Yes, Crombeen gets him, but what is he supposed to do? Not attempt to play the puck at all and let Niemi do whatever he wants with it??? That is the one rules thing that drives me nuts. Goalies outside of the crease handling the puck get hit and it is "goalie interference???" BS! Especially when San Jose had been running Elliott in the crease and the refs were not calling jack squat.
2) Why TF was #25 even dressed? Once again he only played just over 8 minutes - fewest minutes on the team, and other than the fight he barely contributed anything. There were times in the 2nd period when both he and Crombeen had chances to challenge forwards on the half-wall when the Blues D was pushing the puck around from behind the net. Both players stood there and watched Sharks players beat them to the puck and direct plays towards the net. What happened to challenging for the puck? Would much rather see a Ryan Reaves, Chris Porter, or Jaden Schwartz playing than #25. Each of those three brings something different to the game and can be used more than #25.
aside - Ray Ferraro was between the benches and late in the 2nd period, just before Thornton's goal, the Blues D-man were bitching at the forwards for not getting back and the forwards were bitching at the D for not making cleaner out passes. IMO, the D had it right, because the San Jose forecheck was very good and they needed forwards to help out along the boards right about the top of the faceoff circle. With the San Jose D activating, at least 3 Blues forwards continued to stand at the blueline waiting for a pass when there was clearly no pass coming due to the puck being on the boards and a San Jose forward between them and the puck. Perron was the other forward I noticed not back-checking. He was the one who let Thornton go when Thornton scored that goal.
3) In the future, the Blues forwards need to get more pucks on net. Blues forwards had 14 of the 27 shots. When the 3rd period started, Blues forwards had only taken 4 of the 15 shots in the game. Oshie, Backes and Arnott were the only forwards with shots on goal through 2 periods and 3 of those were PP shots. Yes, Niemi was making some great saves, but the forwards have to put more consistent pressure on opposing goalies to finish teams early.
I think that is enough negativity.
4) Blues capitalized on Niemi's only mistake. He gives up one bad rebound and the Blues buried that rebound.
5) 1st 30 minutes - even game. Next 20 or so minutes - Sharks were controlling the flow of the game with the Blues getting almost no sustained zone pressure. Last 10 minutes, St Louis took over and buried them - even with the icings.
6) San Jose beat the crap out of the Blues on faceoffs in the Sharks zone. This was the primary reason the Blues were not able to maintain good zone pressure on a more regular basis as they have in other games. Blues were only slightly better than San Jose on faceoffs in the Blues zone, which is why San Jose was able to control a significant portion of the game. Up until this game, the Blues were dominating faceoffs in those two zones. This was the first game the Blues won most of the neutral zone faceoffs, but those are simply not as important.
7) Elliott is a beast. As we already know, he almost never gives up rebounds. I am glad he is played most of this series and not Halak, because we never know which Halak we will get - the rebound king with the glove of stone or the guy who actually catches pucks and controls rebounds. With Elliott, we see the same thing every game.
Picked LA to beat Vancouver, but would rather face the Sedin sisters, Luongo, and Schnieder than have to deal with Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick. At least the Blues get to rest for a few days.
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