St. Louis Wins The Cup! Blues 3, Hawks 2
I spent the last two days in airports and hotels just so I could bring you the 2013 season's inaugural hatecap. Unfortunately, this one comes on the heels of a 3-2 loss in a tight affair that was entertaining as hell. If you're upset, I understand. Losing to the Blues is never fun - what is fun is watching people spin the third game of the season as a statement game and a message sent. Obviously, the Blues want to prove that they're a real threat to the reigning Western Conference champions but it's not like they've never beaten the Hawks in a regular season game before. If we were talking about a 6-0 loss where the Hawks had 8 total shots on net? Ok, that's something to be concerned about. This? There are some things to iron out but hardly cause for alarm. Let's do the stuff.
Unlike some recent Blackhawks-Blues matchups, this one was actually a decent advert for the game of hockey. A good, hard-fought game that could have gone either way. This was a very enjoyable sixty minutes of hockey.
Corey Crawford was good. He made some great saves and the goals he gave up weren't what you'd call softies. I have a strong feeling this entire season is going to see Hawk fans and non-Hawk fans alike looking to have a referendum on Corey Crawford simply because he's going to start making more money next season. That's too bad.
The power play looked about as good as it could tonight. 22 seconds to score 2 goals.
As efficient as the power play was the penalty kill continues to have issues. The special teams are doing their own version of a terrible body switch comedy and Ryan Reynolds is probably in it.
Seabrook's pinch on the Hawks attempt to pot the game winner late in the third lead to the Steen goal that sealed it. The Hawks aggressiveness backfired - it happens. Credit to Steen for making it count.
The Hawks ran into another tough goaltender. Jaroslav Halak, also known as the only actual professional caliber goaltender in St. Louis, played a great game. If he makes it through the season without cracking like one of the thousands of chairs Ken Hitchcock has shattered under his tonnage I'll be surprised.
Clearly, Quenneville has to figure out what he wants to do with Kruger, who can't win a draw to save his life, and Handzus, who can win a draw but can't really move. Maybe it's time to lock Yanic Perreault and Kruger in a room together until Kruger can consistently beat Perreault on the draw. Or maybe catch a fly with chopsticks. You can see where this is going.
This could easily go under the good but it was a couple of cases of the Blues Bluesing. After the first two St. Louis goals, they immediately took penalties - one of which was Maxim LaPenisloaf's hit from behind, easily the most Maxim LaPenisloaf play there is. The Hawks converted both power plays almost immediately. It's the same thing year in and year out. The Blues will never be able to stop doing this shit. In the words of Elton John, fuck off you miserable clowns.
Pierre McGuire spent a few seconds actually trying to say nice things about Barret Jackman as if Barret Jackman isn't some turdgoon conceived in a Manson Family blood orgy.
The Cardinals also won tonight proving once again baseball is garbage and should be embarrassed for existing.
St. Louis is celebrating tonight. Their baseball team is moving on and their hockey team just won their version of the Stanley Cup. Time to head out and get the finest food money can buy: the St. Paul Sandwich. Yes, because the delicate palates of the St. Louis populace decided Chinese food is too boring. They require some stale white bread and a half jar of Hellman's. Now that's eatin' good.
I leave you with the words of the great Will Leitch, who is no doubt enjoying tonight from a single, uncomfortable chair in a very expensive, sparsely furnished loft in New York City:
That we now realize this, so vividly, is what we truly lost, at 8 a.m. this morning, picking up our newspaper as we stepped onto the subway, the world entirely different than it had been 10 minutes before, yet, of course, exactly the same.