The St. Louis Blues have appeared to put the entire Western Conference on notice. It has been quite the opposite of what many analysts have thought as the St. Louis Blues melt the Winnipeg whiteout and silence critics.
Jordan Binnington has come up big against the Jets but that isn’t the only story to follow here. Hockey runs deep in the Manitoba province and the Jets have emotional fans. If the Blues were going to have any success they were going to have to silence them.
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Going into game 2 of the first round of this years edition of the Stanley Cup playoffs Winnipeg knew that they had to be better. Some might have said the Jets had stage fright playing in front of one of the loudest fan bases in the NHL.
Even more people said Patrik Laine was going to have to pick up his socks and start performing as the $7 Million Dollar Man that he is. All of this is just the beginning of the end for this year’s post-season. St. Louis is just too deep and has too good a goaltender for the Jets.
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During game one you could see the brilliance in Laine when he rockets a shot top corner against Binnington. Then again in game 2 when he smacks an Ovechkin-like one timer past the brick wall, Binnington. The playoffs are about more than a one-trick pony though.
St. Louis looked to be cooked a couple times in this series already but unlike Winnipeg they haven’t let in any stink bombs. The game winner in game 2 is exactly why the Blues are going home up 2 games to zip. In the playoffs, you can’t let in those softies or you won’t be around long.
There were so many questionmarks about the Blues goaltending coming into this series. Can Binnington answer the call to all the pressure? How will Binnington respond to the White Out in Winnipeg? So many critics wrote him off as a flash in the pan.
This type of criticism certainly has motivated him. It also has taken the pressure off the others on St. Louis. As we watched game 1 come to an end we see former-Leaf Tyler Bozak answer the call and net the winner.
Game 2 brought more of the same crazy loud noise and more of the same faults. St. Louis is more than goaltending right now. They have been one of the hottest teams coming down the stretch and have the second most wins, behind only Tampa Bay, in 2019 so far.
As for the Jets they will have to pick up their socks in St. Louis if they want to even have another home game this year. The Jets and Hellebuyck have to play at another level if they want to remain relevant this playoff season.