The Blues knew they were going to win this game. The CBJ played not to lose. I try not to harp on our goal tending letting us down, as I know it is more than that, it is about our defensive play as well. St. Louis is owning Grant Clitsome, and their sizable forwards are more than he can handle. Its not a bash of Grant, its what it is. Unfortunately, since I hate St. Louis with a simmering passion that goes back to goon Pronger days, it appears that they made some very canny trades at the deadline to improve their team.
The same cannot be said for the CBJ. I think the trade of Rusty had a bigger impact in the room then people expected, and while I like Upshall, our chemistry experiment sort of exploded on us. Having Brass go down did not help the situation at all. And while he was game tonight, I still think he has a long way to go before he is really ready. When I look down and Jake is taking a face off (a win I might add) something is still not right.
No worries. We can still go 13-2-1 and make the playoffs. But I don't think our D and goal tending will support that.
The good news, for my fellow optimists, is that this is a great way to evaluate talent. We are in as near a situation of the playoffs that you can generate outside of the playoffs, and our talent evaluators are getting good data about who can stand it and who can't.
Playing like the better team
It occurred to me, as I sullenly cursed the other drivers on the way home, that the CBJ has not discovered the art of playing like you are truly the better team. The Wings have that down to a science. Of course, when Nash, Brass and Jake have all played a thousand games, they'll have it down too. But we don't know how to do that yet. All we know is clawing from behind, and trying to get respect. We don't know playing from ahead and demanding respect. We do know that it won't come this year. But it is not out of reach for next year, and seems a logical step for this group of players. But if they ever figure it out, I for one will be talking some serious smack. After all these years of being repressed, I have it coming to me. ('See the violence inherent in the system!' M.Python, personal communication).