It was a tall order on Tuesday night for San Jose. Let alone being down 3-2 in the series and having to go into St. Louis, they would do so without Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, and Erik Karlsson. At least Pavelski was a game-time decision; both Hertl and Karlsson weren’t even in St. Louis.
The Blues came out strong and scored 92 seconds into the game and made it 2-0 late in the first on a Vladimir Tarasenko power-play goal. Tank’s tally was setup by a perfect no-look pass from Colton Parayko:
It’s hard to see it happening as long as Alex Pietrangelo is around, but it would be some nice to see Parayko get consistent top PP minutes. A guy can dream.
San Jose made a push, particularly in the third period, but would never overcome the deficit, losing 5-1. St. Louis is on its way to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in nearly 50 years.
I’ll have more on the Sharks, the season, and the offseason in a Ramblings later this week.
Full credit to the Blues and Craig Berube here. It feels like a lifetime ago when this team was last in the league and had poor shot rates to back it up. Berube (and Jordan Binnington) helped turn this team around in a big way in the second half, along with the rest of the roster filling in their roles. This is a squad that needed every player on the roster to contribute and they did so all postseason.
One of those role players, Sammy Blais, is a guy to keep tabs on in hits leagues next year. I wrote about him in the Dobber Midseason Guide and he didn’t really come through in the second half, but has done so in the playoffs. This is a guy who can put up gigantic hit totals while chipping in some goals.
A little bit of an