ST LOUIS BLUES VS SAN JOSE SHARKS- 8:00PM EDT/5:00PM PDT- (St Louis leads series 3-2)
The St Louis Blues can make it to the Stanley Cup Finals tonight with a win over the San Jose Sharks. It would be their first appearance in the Finals since 1969-70, where they lost their 3rd straight chance to win the Cup, losing twice to Montreal and the last time to... the Boston Bruins. Y’all remember that famous Bobby Orr goal, right? That was the dagger for St Louis, and they never returned.
In a way, I suppose it would be fitting that they get a chance against Boston. If you wrap some aluminum foil tightly around your cranium, it would seem a tad convenient that they have this great story to sell of a rematch 50 years in the making, I suppose. The story of the Blues even being in the playoffs likely wouldn’t make it past the treatment stage if it was written for Hollywood, because no one would believe a team in Last place in January could be lifting the Cup in June.
As far as San Jose goes, there’s a lot of questions that are swarming at the moment. Is Erik Karlsson even healthy enough to be playing? Is this potentially the last game for Joe Thornton? If they lose, will they choose not to bring back UFA Joe Pavelski? How did they get this far with Martin Jones?
When I look at Karlsson right now, he reminds me of Ryan Kesler at the end of the Sharks series before they went to the Finals. He was playing, but he shouldn’t have been. Kes could barely walk at that point, and would have been shut down in the regular season. Because It’s The Cup, right?
I know there’s a lot of Joe Thornton stans out there who are all misty-eyed thinking about the possibility of the grizzled vet getting to lift the chalice. I’m not one of them. Respect for a fine career, sure. No question. But actually giving a squirt about his career ending without a Stanley Cup on his resume? Not a chance.
Pavelski’s case is an interesting one. Great player. Great captain. But if they come up short, changes will be coming to San Jose, and one of the areas they could look at is a new leadership group. If they try to keep Karlsson, they may cut Little Joe loose in order to fit the money they’ll need to keep their other star defenceman.
Another place San Jose needs to do some work is goaltending. The fact they made it this far on the inconsistency that Jones has shown in the playoffs is a miracle. But running into a hot not-a-rookie goaltender has shown that trying to outscore all your problems can’t always work.
While I loathe the thought of a St Louis/Boston final, because there’s literally no good guy in this fight, I would rather tonight’s game go for the Blues, just so that Boston doesn’t get more rest, and give the Blues a fighting chance trying to spare the world of another dose of obnoxious Boston media and fans shouting drunkenly in our faces.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
St Louis ain’t all bad, because they gave us CROSS EXAMINATION and for that I am eternally grateful. From ‘Menace II Sobriety’, here’s Collateral Jam-Age. Cross Examain’t nuthin’ to fuck wit, indeed. Ahem.