Blues Lose Pietrangelo in Game 1 Loss
There’s Nestle Quick, DJ Quick, Brian Quick, and then there’s Jonathan Quick.
Is there a better name for a goaltender? Jonathan Quick didn’t waste any time in letting the Blues know what they have in store over the next two weeks. He made two game winning saves in the opening minute to rob Andy McDonald.
People focus on the third period for timely saves, this was about as timely as it gets and it happened almost immediately after the drop of the puck. The first thing you notice with this guy is his incredible leg strength, he pushes off as well as any goalie in the league and lived up to his name in the series opener between the Blues and the Kings.
The Blues felt good about their first period initiating what was a pretty entertaining 20 minutes. David Backes deflected an Alex Pietrangelo shot to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
Los Angeles would even things up late in the period as Slava Voynov snuck in from the right point to slam home a nice Dustin Penner feed. The puck jumped on Barret Jackman who turned the puck over before Penner had plenty of time to identify the back door. People will blame Jackman on the play but Any McDonald knows he’s got to stay with Voynov. When the Blues coaching staff goes over the video I can guarantee you they’ll focus on Voynov escaping free to the net and not the Jackman turnover.
McDonald, who a pretty responsible player defensively, tells me he actually got a stick on the Voynov shot.
The Kings played like the more desperate team in Game 1. The Blues got away from what makes them successful in trying to make east west plays in the neutral zone, trying to beat guys one on one, and the result was turnover city. It will be a short series if this is the way they want to play.
For the Blues to be successful the puck has to go north.
King Hit on Petro…
I’m having a difficult time with this one. Pietrangelo was standing right around the goal line when contact was made. It’s not like he was a foot away from the boards. He was hit as he was lunging forward to retrieve the puck along the wall. It was more of a push than a drive from King on Pietrangelo. His momentum combined with a shove drove the Blues star D-man into the wall face first. I don’t know what else to say other than I’ve seen worse.
If he stayed on the ice for a lengthy period of time the Blues would have received a 5 minute power play. It really isn’t Pietrangelo’s style to embellish and he popped right back up, bloody chin and all. He would play momentarily on the ensuing power play before his night came to an end. Could it have warranted a double minor? Perhaps.
What Can Brown Do For You…
Dustin Brown would create a third Los Angeles shorthanded goal of the playoffs to give the Kings 2-1 lead. Kevin Shattenkirk was in a tough spot trying not to take a penalty with the Blues just beginning a PP. Whether or not Pietrangelo was foggy at the time remains to be seen but he’s got to move over and help Shattenkirk. Brown doesn’t get a shot on goal if Pietrangelo slides over and helps.
Former North Dakota Captain Matt Greene beat David Backes up the ice to give the Kings the lead.
The Blues got careless in the third period taking eight minutes in penalties. Two stick infractions led to three power play’s for the Kings including a four minute double minor on T.J. Oshie. Credit the Blues PK for getting the job done.
The Blues had plenty of chances including Scott Nichol who missed a wide open net in the second period. Perron lost control of the puck which was sitting there with Quick out of position. Nichol tried to place it perfectly under the bar and shot high.
B.J. Crombeen also had a high percentage chance but couldn’t lift a backhand over the right pad of Quick.
I found it interesting the Blues fourth line of Nichol, Langenbrunner, and Crombeen were on the ice in the final minutes down by a goal. This line is playing more like a third line than a fourth line. All three players saw more ice time than Chris Stewart.
The Blues might want to find a way to get Vladimir Sobotka more ice time. He does something every time he touches the ice.
The game saw 58 shots, 50 hits, with the Blues winning 56% of their face offs. Nichol was 80% winning eight of ten.
I’ll have more later.
More to come,