The St. Louis Blues is the A view that home ice is no longer important in the playoffs of the Stanley Cup. At least not to the Blues.
St. Louis scored two goals in a wild seven-minute final on Monday to beat Dallas Stars 4-1 in Texas and lead 2-1 in the second round of the teams' playoffs. With the win, the Blues remained perfect on the road in the playoffs after St. Louis won all three of their games in Winnipeg during a win in the first round against Winnipeg Jets.
Patrick Maroon, who reinvented himself, now uses the name of Pat, dragged the back of the net and kicked the right shoulder of goalkeeper Ben Bishop to break the tie in 3 to 3, leaving only 1:38 in regulation time. .
The Blues defended their lead as two men made their debut in the final 43 seconds after Colton Parayko was penalized for throwing the puck in the stands and Bishop went onto the bench for another Stars skater.
The teams traded four goals in the last seven minutes, with the Blues responding with Maroon and captain Alex Pietrangelo's scores after Stars tied the game with goals from Andrew Cogliano and Tyler Seguin.
The solid defensive play and resilience of the Blues were evident during their Jets road sweep. And they once again showed off last Monday, taking the lead just 1:27 in the game, getting four more bids than Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist, and rarely letting the American Airlines Center crowd reach a fever pitch.
Game 4 is Wednesday.
To be ruthlessly honest, it looked like Maroon was about to be a major NHL player when Edmonton Oilers traded him to the New Jersey Devils near the end of last season.
Of course, he still had decent hands for a breakthrough, and everyone likes Maroon's good-face hardness. But in an ever-increasing championship on speed and transition, the Maroon was a kick of 225 pounds for a slower, midfield style. He scored three goals in 17 games for New Jersey and became a free agent.
At an age when he is still close to his prime, the player who turned 31 last week settled down last year for a $ 1.75 million contract for a year to play for his hometown of Blues. Maybe he thought it would be a good place to end his career.
After a regular season of 28 points, Maroon has been a beast in the playoffs. Playing in a checkout line with veteran Tyler Bozak and rookie Robert Thomas, Maroon was a handful for the Jets and now he's threatening the Stars.
It is incomprehensible to all who are unfamiliar with the NHL culture that the league adopts a seismic shift in official playoff patterns compared to the regular season. But Maroon's credit for being able to take advantage of this, as when he pushed Dallas defense Esa Lindell to give himself time and space on the winning goal.
In what turned out to be the goal of the series against the Jets, Maroon interfered in the goalkeeper of Winnipeg, Connor Hellebuyck.
It was a good idea not to hire Maroon for a three or four year contract, but he has been very effective for the Blues in the playoffs.
I NEVER CREATED WOLF
Yes, Lindell was knocked over by Maroon in the winning goal and could have been called interference – and it certainly would have been late October instead of late April – but the Stars supporter could have more sympathy for referees Steve Kozari and Kelly Sutherland. he did not play twice on the flop for a penalty when he was checked by the Blues' Robert Bortuzzo during a second-period battle in the corner. Instead of winning a power ball for Dallas, Lindell gave officers a chance to pay compensation penalties, which they did: checking for Bortuzzo and beautifying Lindell.
Almost every night since last week's Game 7 fiasco in San Jose, when officials incorrectly guessed a penalty that cost the Vegas Golden Knights season, there were incidents that further increased the case for the NHL giving the referees some assistance from replay.
On Monday, the referees and banners, without the benefit of replays, gathered for a few minutes – more than it would take for the Toronto League league to call – before concluding that Parayko's release did not hit Seguin before leaving the game. surface.
Sutherland and Kozari, as well as Jonny Murray and Ryan Gibbons, did a great job of hitting the call and penalizing Parayko, but imagine if the record had cut Seguin and Dallas's stick tied in a power play that should not have happened. .
No one wants longer games, but everyone wants the correct connection. The last need must overcome everything else.
MORE FANTASY COACHING
St. Louis coach Craig Berube helped tilt the Blues first round series in his favor when during Game 5, with his team ahead, he reshaped his lines by throwing Brayden Schenn alongside Jaden Schwartz in the second unit, while promoted David Perron. to the top row.
Schwartz, who had not scored in the playoffs after a regular season of 11 goals, scored the last four St. Louis goals in the series, including a hat trick in Game 6.
Berube moved again Monday, this time taking Schwartz to the role of Ryan O & # 39; Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. Schwartz diverted Parayko's shot to 1-0 just 87 seconds into the game, assisted Pietrangelo in the third period and led the Blues with six hits.
No wonder Berube is the finalist of the year and the catalyst for one of the biggest setbacks of a team's season in NHL history.
Great work from the NBC team that provided the broadcast to Sportsnet to catch Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, taking a selfie with a child and making him feel better after the young fan was hit by a disc in the third period . Elliott did not have to do this, and it was a good genuine moment to capture.