The St Louis Blues took on the Washington Capitals tonight and ruined Dale Hunter’s coaching debut winning 2-1.  The Blues controlled the tempo of the game for most of the night only allowing a few rushes for the Capitals.  The news of the night however was how the Capitals would respond to Dale Hunter and the exit of Bruce Boudreau.  In my opinion it seemed like Hunter wanted to play a safer style of game.  

The Caps really still had problems defensively as the Blues logged a ton of minutes in the offensive zone and outscoring the Capitals 30-19.  Only one shot for the man that has lead the league in shots taken over the last 6 years.  With in this 4 game winning streak the blues have limited Sydney Crosby to 2 shots, Jerome Iginla to 1 shot, and Rick Nash to 6 shots.  Out of the four they combine for 1 assist and a +2 on ice.

The Capitals got the scoring started off with a sweet saucer pass from the great 8 to Nik Backstrom,  Backstrom put it in the the 5 hole on a soft shot past Jaro Halak.  This goal reminded me of when Chris Mason started for the Blues and was known for the softies he allowed.  After this goal though Jaro woke up and came up big in this game. 

Once again the Backes line scored with TJ Oshie netting his 7th of the season.  His goal coming from a hard slapper from Steen that ricochet’d of the crossbar and Oshie screaming in to pick up the trash.  This line logged the most minutes out of any other line matching up against the Ovechkin line, and getting a lot of looks on the power play and penalty kill.  This goal was big because it tied up the game.

What was great was the 2nd line of D’Agostini, Berglund, and Stewart got on the board tonight.  This line really needs to catch fire soon, as the 1st line cannot carry the load like they have all season long.  But once again off of another slapper, D’Agostini took the pass from the rebound Berglund collected and wrapped it into an open net to bring the score to its final place at 2-1.  

True to Dale Hunter’s form, at the end of the second period Matt Hendricks took a cheap shot on Barrett Jackman as time expired.  What came out of this was a fight with Hendricks by Scott “Scooter” Nichol.  It really seemed like Nichol was winning this fight until he lost his balance and went down without being hit.  Honestly I think Nichol ducked Hendricks in this fight knowing Hendricks is 3 inches taller and quite a bit heavier. 

My keys to this game were

  • The second line playing hard, not getting discouraged, and finally getting the hard fought goal
  • The Backes line playing huge minutes and keeping the Ovechkin line to 1 goal
  • The entire defensive core for playing great
  • and Jaro coming up big after a couple games off and making the big saves at the end of the game

That is it for tonight Blues take on Colorado friday on the last leg of the 3 game road trip.  We will revisit the trade from last season and see who is winning that trade to date.  Be sure to retweet the article, look around on the site and retweet others.

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