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Parks Picks sports

Top 5: Tips for Bandwagon Blues Fans

As the Blues take on the San Jose Sharks this evening for the first round of the NHL Playoffs, I’ve noticed an influx of “fans.” I can’t step on the toes of Miss Gabby Bladdick, who’s blog covers Being a Blues Fan 101, but I can make sure you don’t get dirty looks at Scottrade Center.

1. Do not question our goaltending. If I hear one more person question which goaltender is better, I’m going to flip. As a fan, you place all faith in your coach (Ken Hitchcock, if you really didn’t know). If the biggest problem we have as a team is deciding which kick ass goaltender to put in the net, there is NO need to question it.

2. Barret Jackman is the scape goat. Related: Pietrangelo is a saint. If there is a defensive mistake, it is always completely acceptable to blame Jackman. Extra points if you can come up with a clever “he’s better than Brewer” comment.

3. Keep horn honking outside. Yes, it sounds cool when you honk your car horn three times and people respond “Let’s Go Blues!” It’s not cool to hear it for 15 straight minutes while trying to leave the parking garage from 6 different cars.

4. Learn your history. The Blues lost to the Sharks in the first round in 1999-2000 after we won the Presidents Trophy (the award for most points in a season). It’s been eight years since we’ve had a playoff win. Joe Thornton (#19)  is the spawn of satan, and caused David Perron’s 94 game absent. Boo every single time he touches the puck.

5. Stadium Manners: 

  • Do not under any circumstances get up during play.
  • Related: do not return during play. If there is not enough time for you to get to the middle of the row by puck drop, wait.
  • Do not stop in the middle of the concourse. I don’t care if you just saw your frat brother’s cousin that taught you how to play beer pong in 1985.
  • If you have purchased a souvenir cup, remove the lid before requesting a free refill. It saves us all time.
  • If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t talk. You’ll just sound incredibly stupid to the true fans, and you’re cover will be blown immediately.
  • The National Anthem ends: “And the home of the BLUES.” This is non-negotiable.
  • Via Andy: Don’t yell “SHOOT!” the second a player crossed the blue line. There is a reason why they are the pro’s and you are sitting in the top row of section 312 in the upper bowl. They can’t hear you anyway.

Keep this handy guide close, and you may be able to pass as a real Blues fan!

Enjoy the game, and Let’s Go Blues!

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sports

A Playoff Prayer

our father, who art in saint louis, hockey be thy name. thy will be done, lord stanley will be won, on ice as in the stands. give us this day, our hockey sticks, and forgive our penalties as we forgive those who cross check against us. lead us not into elimination, but lead us to victory. amen.

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sports

Why the Media, NHL and the Blues are Not Friends

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(I don’t own these photos – I just make them better)

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sports

St. Louis Blues: Looks Like We Made It

After a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, the St. Louis Blues have become the first team to clinch a playoff berth with 100 points, which means it’s officially speculation time. Let’s venture out into some of the potential first round match ups the boys in blue may face.

Phoenix Coyotes (Currently in 7th)

I’m really not sure where I stand on a Blues/Yotes match up. As a child, I owned one of the crazy coyote jerseys. But this is not the team of my past. This will be the second straight year the Coyotes have joined the playoffs, losing to the Red Wings twice in quarterfinals. While they have scored more goals this season (191), the strength of goaltending on the Blues end will be huge. Plus, it’ll be fun to see what BizNasty says about our boys.

Colorado Avalanche (Currently in 8th)

Colorado could be a fun match up. To refresh your memory, the Blues and Avs made a monumental 2am trade before the deadline, sending Eric Johnson and Jay McClement to Denver for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. How’d that work you ask? Well, EJ has 4 goals and 20 assists against Shatty’s 9 goals and 28 assists. McClement (10 G, 6A) and Stewie (15 G, 13 A) have made a difference in the line up as well. Aside from the personal issues these teams have, we’ve got another goaltending mismatch, as Colorado’s net minders have allowed an additional 53 goals this season.

San Jose Sharks (Currently in 9th)

Please god, anyone but the Sharks. We’ve seen what Joe Thorton can do to this team, but this could end up being a repeat of the 1999-2000 season when the President’s Trophy-winning Blues were upset in the first round. The Sharks play an aggressive style of hockey that matches well with St. Louis. Their road record is barely above .500, but I never doubt their desire to win come playoff time.

Los Angeles Kings (Currently in 10th)

This could be the goaltending match old-time hockey fans long for. The Blues are the only team to have allowed less goals this season (158), and it’s clear that the mask is not the only thing that rocks about Jonathan Quick. Playoffs could bring along an outburst of goals from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, along with leadership from Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Plus, I like the idea of a ’67 expansion playoff.

Who do you want to see the Blues match up with? While you think, give this tune by Brookroyal a listen.

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sports

St. Louis Blues: Deadline Day & What’s Left To Come

Let me sum up what could easily be the most boring deadline day ever: Rick Nash is still a Blue Jacket, Nashville paid too much for Gaustad, and sports writers across country (especially Canada) just wasted 12 hours of their lives.

The Blues lone deal from Saturday, Ben Bishop to the Senators for a 2nd Round Draft Pick, is fine. Bishop needs to get more NHL experience, and the goaltending situation in Ottawa lends well to that. But what’s important to the fans, the team and the organization is where we’ll be come April 10.

Currently, the Blues sit in the 4th spot of the West; just two points shy of division leader Detroit and four points ahead of 5th place Nashville. With 20 games left, including three bouts with Chicago and one with Detroit, the Blues have their work cut out for them. Key injuries to Alex Steen (concussion), Matt D’Agostini (concussion) and Jamie Langenbrunner (foot), as well as the recent loss of Kris Russell (concussion) continue to haunt the team. But are we OK with the healthy guys? Let’s break it down line by line.

Backes – Oshie – Perron

This trio can do some damage. Between the grit and grind of David Backes (18 G, 25 A) and the skilled paws of David Perron (12 G, 17 A), this isn’t the line goaltenders want to see. Plus, TJ Oshie (15 G, 26 A) has been in the zone this season, following a disappointing (and embarrassing) 2010-2011.

Sobotka – Berglund – McDonald

I’m going to call this the honey badger line. Unfairly maybe, because I have a minor obsession with Vladdy Sobotka (4 G, 14 A) and his agression, but Andy McDonald (3 G, 4 A) is not someone you can catch up to quickly. The biggest concern on this line lies with Patrik Berglund (13 G, 15 A). Not that his numbers are extremely disappointing, but for a guy of his size and skill, I expect more.

Porter – Arnott – Stewart

Another surprise for me this season has been Chris Porter (4 G, 3 A). This kid goes hard game after game, and has definitely earned his spot on the NHL Roster. Veteran Jason Arnott (13 G, 14 A) has been a strong force on and off the ice, while Chris Stewart (13 G, 11 A) still seems to be finding his place in the Blue Note uniform. Get this line to produce consistently and you’ll see a much higher goal differential.

Crombeen – Nichol – Reaves

Everyone has a tough line, but not everyone has a tough line who can move the puck. BJ Crombeen, Scott Nichol and Ryan Reaves have a combined 5 goals, 6 assists, and 180 penalty minutes. Not too shabby for a fourth line with an average TOI of nearly 8 minutes.

Onto the Defense…

Colaiacovo – Pietrangelo

Yes, Carlo Colaiacovo (2 G, 13 A) breaks easier than cheap glass, but Alex Pietrangelo (10 G, 24 A) is such a fabulous forward-minded defenseman that this pair is key.

Jackman – Shattenkirk

Barrett Jackman (1 G, 9 A) has taken Eric Brewer’s place as the season troll. How many times has he been the lone cause of a goal? Too many to count. But Kevin Shattenkirk (7 G, 20 A) is much stronger than his traded counterpart. (Sorry EJ fans.)

Cole – Polak

With Russell hurt, Ian Cole (1 G, 4 A) has stepped in at the point. I like the kid, but he clearly has some growing to do. Roman Polak (0 G, 11 A) however, is a BEAST. No wonder that guy wins the strength contest each year.

The goaltending story is one of honor and respect – the Jaroslav Halak – Brian Elliot team have come together for 12 shut outs and a goals against of .930. This is KEY – especially if the 4 – 5 matchup of St. Louis and Nashville occurs, considering the low-scoring of the past 6 match ups.

No, the Blues did not make moves at the deadline, but if the current, healthy team continues down their current path, the city of St. Louis may have more to watch then Baseball come mid-April and early May.