On Saturday afternoon, the Blues did what they needed to do, beating the Canucks in a shootout but the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators didn’t cooperate, each winning their game later that night.
The Blues took the lead almost twelve minutes into the 1st period on a play that started with Carl Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson makes a beautiful play, picking the puck out of mid-air and changing possession to the Blues.
The score would stay 1-0 until almost four minutes into the third period when somehow Tanner Pearson would get a breakaway with the Canucks on a power play. I’m not sure what Joel Edmundson and Alex Pietrangelo were thinking but they both failed to close the middle of the ice off, allowing Pearson a clear lane to the net.
About six and a half minutes later, Vladimir Tarasenko would score his own power play goal, giving the lead back to the Blues. The goal was a vintage Tarasenko shot, beating Thatcher Demko high glove.
The Canucks evened the score with their second power play goal as Calder trophy favorite Elias Pettersson put a one-timer past Jordan Binnington.
Thatcher Demko and Jordan Binnington would shut the door the rest of the way until the shootout where Binnington would stop both Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser to ensure the Blues victory.
Thatcher Demko played marvelously all night, robbing the Blues on a number chances and stopping 34 of 36 saves before not making a single save in the shootout.
Of course, the wins by the Jets and Predators made the outcome irrelevant and the Blues will travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets to start round one of the playoffs. I’ll have a preview on the series in the coming days.
With Saturday being the anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, this blogger’s heart was a bit heavy as he headed own to the rink. Sporting our Humboldt charity t-shirts and a Hockey Canada pennant while taking in a game and remembering all of those affected by the tragedy seemed a fitting way for us to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. If you didn’t get a chance to watch TSN’s one year anniversary, you really should. For those in the US like us, ESPN aired a version of it as an E-60 this morning and is likely replaying it.
NHL Champions for Charity
Given that the Predators pulled out the division title, all be it not without some controversial officiating in the last couple of games, Best Buddies Tennessee https://www.bestbuddies.org/tennessee/
is the beneficiary. Best Buddies Tennessee is dedicated to establishing a volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a side note, I recently got to experience a Best Buddies even in the St. Louis area that was led by the Eureka high school football team. It was a lot of fun and brought a lot of joy to those involved.
It’s a great day for hockey.