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04-04-2004, 05:37 PM
  #1
FACTORY
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STL vs. SJ...initial thoughts

i think this is the matchup we wanted eh? perhaps i'm being naive...i've not seen too much of the sharks this season, but it seems like avoiding detroit, colorado and dallas in the first round is a good thing. maybe that's because there are no super-star type players on the sharks and they have never had the playoff success of the other top seeds in this tourney. they are also without sturm for the year. i like the blues' chances in this one.

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04-04-2004, 05:58 PM
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The Blues/Guppies will be a great hard hittin series. Osgood i feel has the advantage. The Guppies have "some" scoring up front, and will have to be delt with carefully. But we have faced each other twice already. Both of our teams are 100% different since last we played. The regular season is over as is the Guppies playoff hopes. Blues in 6

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04-04-2004, 06:00 PM
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The Blues best chance is probably against the Sharks, but I still don't see them beating the Sharks. The Sharks have a nice mix of grit and offensive depth and I think Nabokov is a better goaltender than Osgood. The Blues struggle to score goals as it is; I'll take the Sharks in 5, maybe 6.

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04-04-2004, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laperriere22
The Blues best chance is probably against the Sharks, but I still don't see them beating the Sharks. The Sharks have a nice mix of grit and offensive depth and I think Nabokov is a better goaltender than Osgood. The Blues struggle to score goals as it is; I'll take the Sharks in 5, maybe 6.
You're definatly not the most optimistic Blues fan are you?

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04-04-2004, 09:27 PM
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Location says it all, although I know virtually nothing of both teams

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04-04-2004, 11:43 PM
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If St. Louis can control the boards, it can control the series. Pronger and Weight, in particular, are good when they can pass the puck up the zone to a streaking Tkachuk or Demitra. If the boards are taken away from either, this could be a short series for St. Louis. If Demitra and Tkachuk are on a line together (which is expected), expect Rathje and either Preissing (Rathje's normal defensive partner) or Hannan to line up opposite them for virtually the entirety of Games 1 and 2 in SJ. If Preissing, the Blues can rough him up and take him out of his positional game. If Hannan, then the Blues will have to find secondary scoring somewhere, because he won't be roughed up in the same way. St. Louis D will have to be sharp from top-to-bottom as SJ doesn't have one line that it tosses out in key situations; it has 3. I expect Pronger to play 30 a night, as he'll need to match up at times against all 3, especially the so-called 3rd line of Thornton-Ricci-Cheechoo. That's the toughest SJ tosses out there. If that line can be stopped from being physical (and Pronger is just the guy to do that), the series could be a quick win for St. Louis. Don't expect any of the three (Cheechoo in particular) to stop coming, though. He skates like garbage, but he just doesn't turn it off.

Overall, I'm predicting St. Louis in 7. The longer the series goes, the better chance STL has of winning it, I feel.

~Crazed.

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04-05-2004, 02:08 AM
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Well I am one diehard Canucks fan that just bet $100 on a 40-1 Vegas line for the Blues to win the cup. I think the fact the team is not saddled with expectation this year will help and so will playing the Sharks in the first round. It is going to come down to how hungry Weight et al are. Desire will win this series pure and simple.

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04-05-2004, 08:31 AM
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The question most Blues fans have is: Which team is the real St. Louis Blues. Though December, the Blues were finding ways to win in close games. They played hard hitting and tight Checking games and the PP and PK were effective and flying.

Then the Blues stopped playing in Jan, Feb and really until March seemed not to care. The PP was not working, the PK was sheity and the team had zero confidence.

Over March and April, we have seen the Blues team of early in the year. They played hard, tight checking games and got timely goals. Some of the goals were great, others were due to hard work. I think the Blues have taken it up a notch over the past week w/ games against Edmonton, Nashville, and YES, Detroit.

If St. Louis can get the PP going and shut down SJs, then I would expect them to win in 5. IMO, the Blues are playing their best hockey of the year and most of the guys tend to go to the front of the net hard and get ugly goals.

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04-05-2004, 05:27 PM
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For better or for worse, this is the matchup the Blues wanted. We'll see if they make good on it.

1. Anyone note that this series has the 1st and 3rd-most experienced playoff goalies in the West? Osgood has 82 playoff games, followed by Cloutier (VAN) with 22, Nabokov with either 15 or 16, then Turco with about 12. *No one else* starting in net in the West has made a playoff start with the possible exception of Kiprusoff who would have made *at most* 3 in the 2001 playoff series vs. the Blues.

2. Speaking of netminders, neither one has been really stellar in the playoffs in recent history. Nabokov's only series win came vs. Phoenix in 2002, Osgood hasn't won since '99 in Detroit. The guy that shakes his past off will be the one that carries his team to the 2nd round.

3. Keys to the series:
A) Blues defense vs. Sharks forwards. If Pronger, Weinrich and Co. can neutralize the speed of Marleau, McAuley and others, it will help the Blues trememdously. If this series becomes one long end-to-end rush, the Blues will find themselves on the losing end of the race.

B) Weight, Tkachuk and Demitra vs. Stuart, McLaren and Rathje. The Blues forwards have to dominate the Sharks defenders where it counts. If Tkachuk is on his game, none of the Sharks defenders will be able to contain him. If he plays to their level, the Blues will go quietly.

C) Injuries and the 3rd/4th lines. Always key in the playoffs, if Danton gets to play 4th line center he'll be the Blues version of Mike Ricci. Jamal Mayers needs to step up big time in this series. The Sharks won't have Sturm and that will hurt a bit. Plus...McLaren has played about 12 games without an injury - meaning he's due at any time.

OUTLOOK: As noted by others, will the real Blues team please stand up? Let's believe that the team we've seen the last month is the real one and their play for each other and for Coach Kitchen is solid enough to put the Sharks on dry land. I give the Blues a 55% chance to win this series - not a lot, but just enough.

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04-12-2004, 12:13 AM
  #10
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This is all coming after two games and I know its a big if, but if we can hold serve at home and win the next two games I will take the Blues in 7.

The thing that scares me most though when I take the Blues colored glasses off ois that are key players have been either non existant (Demitra) or undiscipllined (Pronger, Tkachuk) both of these things spell an exit in 5 aftet taking off the Blues colored glasses.

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04-12-2004, 01:31 AM
  #11
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Game 2 was anything but a Sharks win. It was St. Louis imploding and giving Patrick Marleau (and the rest of SJ) a gift. Not even those loyal Shark fans here in SJ can say much different. If St. Louis doesn't implode, this is a very tight series. If it does, well, it's 2-0 right now. What STL needs is for Pronger and Tkachuk in particular (Drake and Mellanby as well) to shut their pie holes and play hockey. If they do that, I think STL can win.

One thing that would worry me as a Blues fan would be Pronger laughing with a linesman as he's being shown the door in Game 2. That happened right in front of me. I don't know if they showed it on the live feed or on replays, but it was disgusting to see someone wearing the C laughing as his team's down 3-1 in Game 2 and he's being shown the door. If he keeps that up, the Blues might be adding by letting him walk as an uncompensated free agent this off-season.

How's Osgood looking in STL? He tweaked his groin in the pre-game skate on Saturday, and never recovered. Then his knee got twisted when he fell behind the net. It just wasn't his day, though I felt he played great, for the most part. The first goal was bad, but with his groin giving him problems, I was surprized he was still in the game to begin with. He's a warrior, no doubt.

~Crazed.

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04-12-2004, 11:07 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeycrazed07
Game 2 was anything but a Sharks win. It was St. Louis imploding and giving Patrick Marleau (and the rest of SJ) a gift. Not even those loyal Shark fans here in SJ can say much different. If St. Louis doesn't implode, this is a very tight series. If it does, well, it's 2-0 right now. What STL needs is for Pronger and Tkachuk in particular (Drake and Mellanby as well) to shut their pie holes and play hockey. If they do that, I think STL can win.

One thing that would worry me as a Blues fan would be Pronger laughing with a linesman as he's being shown the door in Game 2. That happened right in front of me. I don't know if they showed it on the live feed or on replays, but it was disgusting to see someone wearing the C laughing as his team's down 3-1 in Game 2 and he's being shown the door. If he keeps that up, the Blues might be adding by letting him walk as an uncompensated free agent this off-season.

How's Osgood looking in STL? He tweaked his groin in the pre-game skate on Saturday, and never recovered. Then his knee got twisted when he fell behind the net. It just wasn't his day, though I felt he played great, for the most part. The first goal was bad, but with his groin giving him problems, I was surprized he was still in the game to begin with. He's a warrior, no doubt.

~Crazed.
You must need glasses if you saw Pronger wearing a "C" on his sweater.
Pronger had every right to be pissed off with all the BS calls on him. Tkachuk on the otherhand needs to cool his ignorant act and start producing.

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04-12-2004, 04:55 PM
  #13
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I didn't see the "C" on the sweater. It was more of an assumption since MacInnis is down and prior STL history. Are the Blues just going with "A's," or is someone else the captain these days?

~Crazed.

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04-12-2004, 06:22 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesfan22
You must need glasses if you saw Pronger wearing a "C" on his sweater.
Pronger had every right to be pissed off with all the BS calls on him. Tkachuk on the otherhand needs to cool his ignorant act and start producing.
I won't say the Blues didn't deserve every penalty called on him, but Stephen Walkom as a playoff referee is a complete and utter joke. I'd like (or hate) to see who didn't make the officials roster for the playoffs.

Walkom is an embarassment to the other officials in this league. He has been since the first day he ever wore the striped shirt in the NHL. How he misses Pronger getting high-sticked *twice* while looking right at him, I have no idea. He then rings up Pronger for unsportsmanlike conduct when Pronger yells at him as a sign that he (Walkom) is the big shot here and he's in charge. 7 of the first 8 penalties called in the game were whistled by Walkom. Just utterly pathetic. (Believe me, I've said it about him in non-Blues games many times...so this isn't a "we lost because of the officiating" rant. Walkom is just a bad, bad, bad official who doesn't deserve to have a job in the NHL.)

-- I saw a milk carton in the store yesterday, and Pavol Demitra's picture was on it.

-- Hello, Murray Baron....this is the press box. Get comfy here - you're not coming back out of it.

Bottom line...the Blues have to play disciplined, quit retaliating, and negate the speed of the Sharks. Otherwise, they can mail in the other 2 games of this series and start hoping the fans will forgive and forget in the offseason.

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04-12-2004, 08:41 PM
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Funny. I say the same about Kerry "Helmet Hair" Fraser, and he's the NHL's lead referee. Grumble grumble.

~Crazed.

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04-14-2004, 12:43 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Blues
I won't say the Blues didn't deserve every penalty called on him, but Stephen Walkom as a playoff referee is a complete and utter joke. I'd like (or hate) to see who didn't make the officials roster for the playoffs.

Walkom is an embarassment to the other officials in this league. He has been since the first day he ever wore the striped shirt in the NHL. How he misses Pronger getting high-sticked *twice* while looking right at him, I have no idea. He then rings up Pronger for unsportsmanlike conduct when Pronger yells at him as a sign that he (Walkom) is the big shot here and he's in charge. 7 of the first 8 penalties called in the game were whistled by Walkom. Just utterly pathetic. (Believe me, I've said it about him in non-Blues games many times...so this isn't a "we lost because of the officiating" rant. Walkom is just a bad, bad, bad official who doesn't deserve to have a job in the NHL.)

-- I saw a milk carton in the store yesterday, and Pavol Demitra's picture was on it.

-- Hello, Murray Baron....this is the press box. Get comfy here - you're not coming back out of it.

Bottom line...the Blues have to play disciplined, quit retaliating, and negate the speed of the Sharks. Otherwise, they can mail in the other 2 games of this series and start hoping the fans will forgive and forget in the offseason.
IB,
Refs have and always will suck. They will all make stupid calls for or against one team or another and will miss goals and non-goals. The difference between the winners and the losers is responding to those bad calls; take it like a man and wait for a bad call to go in your favour or justify the ref's bad call by making a good one on your whining/complaining/crying (I don't mean you, just the hypothetical "you" of course ).

No game has ever been won or lost by debates with the policemen on the ice. While it sickens me to see refs make bad calls, it sickens me more to see players shoot their teams chances in the foot by trying to publicly embarrass the ref.

I didn't get a chance to watch Saturday's game and I'm glad I didn't, but I'm quite sure that the refs didn't make 13 blatantly bad calls during the game.

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04-14-2004, 01:17 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Blues
-- I saw a milk carton in the store yesterday, and Pavol Demitra's picture was on it.
Games 1 and 2 I agree with you, games 3 and 4 Demitra played his ass off. If anything send a freakin APB out on Tkachoke.

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04-14-2004, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demitra #38
Games 1 and 2 I agree with you, games 3 and 4 Demitra played his ass off. If anything send a freakin APB out on Tkachoke.
Game 3 Demitra was also invisible, game 4 he showed up for about a period, maybe a period and a half. For a player as talented as he, he should make something happen on just about every shift, and that's not nearly the case. Same can be said for Tkachuk. Well, Tkachuk made things happen, it just happened in favor of San Jose, that selfish *****.

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04-15-2004, 07:01 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Stankonia
(I don't mean you, just the hypothetical "you" of course ).
Seeing this reminds me of conversations I had with my wife when we dated...but that's for another board.

I'm *not* saying that bad officiating cost the Blues Game 2. The Blues played undisciplined hockey and they deserved to lose by more than the 3-1 final score. All I'm saying is that not every penalty that was whistled should have been called. Walkom decided to play BMOI when he should have stuck to his job as an NHL referee. He's been historically bad and that game was just another example of why he doesn't deserve to wear a striped jersey at any level of hockey.

For the record, the officiating was very good in the last 2 games. I had a question about Drake's roughing penalty near the end of the 1st in Game 4 but saw a Blues player wrestle down a Sharks player behind the net and figured that was the penalty getting called...so that's a wash. Otherwise, I didn't have a problem with any of the calls that were made.

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