At no level has success come simple for St. Louis this season. The identical goes for defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. However the Blues got here up massive after dropping Recreation 1 of the Stanley Cup remaining, and it was Gunnarsson who delivered their largest purpose of the season.Carl Gunnarsson celebrates his time beyond regulation purpose in Recreation 2|Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesBOSTON – The irony right here is simply too darn scrumptious. The St. Louis Blues had been the worst staff within the NHL on Jan. three. Their season was quickly happening the bathroom. So it ought to come as no shock that probably the most essential second of the season got here, “on the pi—er” of their dressing room at TD Backyard. “I can’t deny that,” mentioned time beyond regulation hero Carl Gunnarsson. “That’s the place it occurred. That makes it much more enjoyable, I assume. It’s story.”
With the Blues on the verge of both profitable their first playoff recreation ever or going into an Zero-2 gap within the Stanley Cup remaining, Gunnarsson and coach Craig Berube had an opportunity assembly on the dressing room urinal. Gunnarsson, who drilled one off the crossbar with 1:57 remaining in regulation time, advised Berube that he wanted one other likelihood. “I simply advised him I wanted yet one more,” Gunnarson mentioned.
And when Gunnarsson made good with a shot from the purpose on what was successfully an influence play – a delayed penalty was coming to the Bruins and the Blues had an additional attacker – his prophecy got here true. And that’s accurately. The Blues ought to have gotten their first Stanley Cup remaining ever off the stick of a defensive defenseman who was both injured or in poor health 5 instances this season and was a wholesome scratch for the primary 4 video games of the playoffs. As a result of that is how the St. Louis Blues do issues. When issues look most dire, when they’re going their worst, this group has an uncanny penchant for selecting itself up, dusting itself off and getting again into the motion.
That undoubted speaks to the resilience and character of this group, however a number of groups have character and resilience. So do loads of gamers. In spite of everything, that’s an enormous a part of the explanation why they get to this stage, and this far into the playoffs, within the first place. “All people clearly has character, particularly at this level of the season,” mentioned Blues defenseman Colton Parayko. “I don’t know. We simply proceed to push. We’re so shut. We’re clearly staff and when issues are form of powerful, it brings us nearer. It’s cool to be part of it. When instances get powerful we don’t deviate from one another. We come nearer collectively and (say), ‘We’re going to get this performed.’ ”
Not one of the Blues had been happy with how Recreation 1 unfolded, notably after they had been dominated after taking a 2-Zero lead. However once more with this character factor. The Blues fully turned the tables in Recreation 2. This time they had been the dominant staff. Had they not received this recreation, it may need prompted an NHL investigation. “I knew coming into Recreation 2 that we had been going to be a tough staff to play in opposition to,” Berube mentioned. “And we had been.”
Whether or not it’s clawing out of final place, recovering from blowing a 2-Zero collection lead within the first spherical of the playoffs, getting a purpose in double time beyond regulation of Recreation 7, profitable three straight video games and outscoring its opponent 12-2 after dropping in time beyond regulation on a purpose that resulted from a hand move that would have derailed their season or coming again after dropping the primary recreation of the Stanley Cup remaining, there’s something very particular about this Blues staff. And that’s no matter how this collection seems.
“We discover methods to problem ourselves,” mentioned Blues winger Patrick Maroon. “It’s all psychological. It’s all between the ears. You simply have to search out methods to grind via it and keep it up and whenever you do this, you’re going to get outcomes and discover methods. The primary recreation we didn’t do this. We received a lead and allow them to dictate the play after that.”
Gunnarsson’s first purpose of this season got here on Jan. 17, a slapshot from the highest of the circle in the identical constructing, on the identical finish of the ice and in opposition to the identical goalie because it did in time beyond regulation in Recreation 2. Coincidentally, that was proper across the time the Blues began on their roll that received them into the playoffs. As was the case along with his staff, there have been some very low factors for Gunnarsson this season. In spite of everything, he missed the primary three weeks of the season after having low season surgical procedure on his left knee and his proper hip. And as was the case along with his staff, he was rewarded for his resilience.
“Carl has been nice for us,” Parayko mentioned. “In case you watch him, he’s so sound. He’s not a flashy participant, however he’s excellent on the market, virtually. He simply does the correct play, the fitting play, each single time. Simply watch him. He’s superb. I can’t say sufficient good issues about him.”
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Tags: boston bruins, playoffs, st. louis bluesConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. Evidently, it did not work out.