It’s Monday and that means it’s time for the St. Louis Blues to face the music. They had the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup at home Sunday, with Game Six theirs for the taking against the Boston Bruins.
But now, St. Louis has to head back to Boston for Game Seven and that is not where they want to be.
With 40,000 fans waiting outside Enterprise Arena and a parade route mapped out, the Blues had it in them to deliver for their home fans Sunday but didn’t. The Bruins took Game Six by a final score of 5-1 and exposed a lack of discipline and control in the opposition at the worst possible moment.
Part of the problem was, it has to be said, Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. While St. Louis can certainly credit his calm demeanour for pulling the club all the way to a Game Seven situation, it’s also true that he allowed four goals on 31 shots Sunday – including three in the third period when he just flat-out had to be better.
“You’re not going to win every game,” Binnington said. “You’re not going to be perfect. We have to regroup and play our game, be disciplined, stay composed and hopefully have a better outcome.”
And the Blues’ lack of discipline did them in for Game Six. No question.
There were problems in that area all over the place, like when Robert Bortuzzo earned himself a game misconduct way late in the game or when Brayden Schenn took an early boarding penalty. At least the latter occurred with the game well out of hand, but it’s indicative of a tendency to lose control.
Still, the Bruins did take more penalties in Game Six but the Blues had in innate inability to make it happen on the power play. They were zero for four, while the visitors scored on one of two power plays. Brad Marchand’s man-advantage goal was the opener and silenced the St. Louis crowd.
Anything can happen in Game Seven, that’s for sure, and this Blues squad has proven the predictions wrong on more than one occasion. And they’re a pretty good road team, going 9-3 away from home this post-season. You can’t argue with that.
But this is Game Seven, in case you were unaware, and the Bruins have a pretty raucous barn all their own. That can take a team out of it, especially with everything on the line, and mistakes will count more than ever when the rubber hits the road.
If the Blues can contain themselves and keep cool, they can win this thing. But the Bruins are hungry, desperate and ready for anything.
(Photo credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)