It’s that time of year again. The Cardinals are in the playoffs, the Rams are trying to get back into the divisional race, and the Blues kick off their season. St. Louis sure has it’s hands full with all the sports going on.
Before the season started, many outlets predicted the Blues to be a top contender for the Stanley Cup…the title they have longed to earn. They have played well over the past couple years, and boast one of the top goalie tandems around with Brian Elliott and starter Jaroslav Halak.
Last night, the Blues opened up at the Scottrade Center against the Nashville Predators. With the Cardinals beating Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the NLDS not too long before the Blues started, the fans in St. Louis were already pumped, which provided another big boost for the Blues.
For the first period, it was all Blues. Only 2:05 into the game, forward David Backes chipped a goal right past Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (assisted by Alex Pietrangelo). The crowd erupted in excitement: in the blink of an eye, their team was ahead.
In six shots spanning over 7:40, the Blues had scored three goals on Rinne before coach Barry Trotz pulled Rinne out of the game. Nashville was not going to lie down, however, and scored the next two goals to cut the Blues’ lead to one. Predators forward Nick Spaling scored the first goal for Nashville with a circular shot around Halak. Blues forward T.J Oshie had barely missed a shot on goal later after that, which could have given the Blues a 4-1 lead, but was not the case.
The final goal, and the one that sealed the win for St. Louis, was a PPG by Alexander Steen in the third period that flew past goalie Carter Hutton.
As for defense, the Blues took it to the Predators. NHL iron man Jay Bouwmeester, who made his 636th straight start, played solid defense to help out Halak, who won his first game since March 23rd against the Oilers. The Blues excelled on the power play, scoring a goal on two of four power plays in the game. And they killed all four of Nashville’s power plays.
This is a great start for the Blues, who have won their home opener four of the last five years. In a very competitive conference, it’s key to start off strong. St. Louis has an off day Friday and will play the Florida Panthers on Saturday once again at the Scottrade Center.
It may just be one game, but things are looking bright under the Ken Hitchcock regime (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images).