SAN JOSE SHARKS VS ST LOUIS BLUES- 9:00PM EDT/6:00PM PDT- (San Jose leads 1-0)
The St Louis Blues got away from their gameplan on Saturday and played right into San Jose’s er...fins? Giveaways galore and allowing the Sharks to gain the zone far too easily came back to haunt them, and not getting a decent performance from Jordan Binnington goal added up to a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score suggested.
For the Blues tonight, expect a tighter defensive effort, and probably an attempt to get the Sharks to respond physically and take penalties. Their PP has been brutal, but getting out of that slump they found themselves in during the series against Dallas will go a long way towards their success in this series. They’re also going to need Vladimir Tarasenko to start showing his regular season form if they want to advance. He’s made brief appearances during the series against Winnipeg and Dallas, but for the most part he’s been a non-factor. They got a goal from Ryan O’Reilly in the last game, but it would seem that leaning on guys like Jaden Schwartz, Robert Thomas and Tyler Bozak wouldn’t hurt right now, as they’ve been consistently the best performers for the Blues in the playoffs so far.
For San Jose, it’s just a matter or replicating what they did in Game 1. Their speed and skill had the Blues D struggling all night, and as long as they can continue to force the Blues into errors, they have the ability to capitalize on this better than just about any team in the NHL. Other than maybe the Blues swapping out Robert Bortuzzo for anyone then we should see the same lines for Game 2.
Also, a significant anniversary was marked this weekend as on May 11, 1995, this happened...
TEAM CANADA (1-1-0-0) vs TEAM SLOVAKIA (1-0-0-1)- 2:00PM EDT/11:00PM PDT
Coming off an 8-0 thrashing of Great Britain yesterday, Team Canada is right back at it as they take on Slovakia this afternoon. Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Columbus Blue Jackets will be in the lineup today, adding some more offensive speed for the Canadian team as they take on the host squad. Slovakia opened the tournament with a big 4-1 win against the Americans, but fell 4-2 to Finland the next day. Kaapo Kakko had a hat trick for the Finns in that one.
No word yet on who will be coming out of the lineup for Team Canada as they try to find a fit for Dubois, but he adds more depth down the middle. TSN’s Darren Drager said it wouldn’t be surprising to see him or Tyson Jost, who had 2 assists in his first game on Sunday, to switch to the wing at some point. We also don’t who is going to play in goal today, but it shouldn’t come as a shock if Alain Vigneault plays the hot hand and gives Carter Hart another opportunity after getting the win yesterday. Whether or not Matt Murray, who gave up 4 to Finland in the opener on Friday, gets back in remains to be seen, but another strong performance from Hart could make that a tough decision for the Canadian coaching staff to make.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Back to the old school today with German power metallers GRAVE DIGGER. While they’re very much a traditional metal act today (with a running Braveheart kinda vibe, I mean seriously this band sings a lot of songs about Scotland haha...), their first couple albums were very raw and thrashy. Here’s the title track from their debut on Noise Records called ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’.