ST. LOUIS – If ever there was a time to bury and forget past mistakes, then now would be a great time for the St. Louis Blues.
Eyeing a game 4, series-clinching victory on Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild, the Blues are going to try to accomplish something they were unable to do in last season’s playoffs…avoid a lengthy, exhausting series.
The Blues had opportunities to dispatch both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars in less than 7 games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Round 1 and 2. Instead, both of those series went the distance.
You’d hate to make excuses as to why the Blues fell two wins short of the Stanley Cup Final one season ago, but, one would have to think that a pair of 7-game series certainly didn’t help the cause. The ‘Notes were wore down mightily by Dallas and Chicago before reaching the bruising, big-bodied Sharks in the 2016 Western Conference Final.
The Blues don’t want to repeat that same history. They’d like to close it out early this time around.
There is every hope and indication that they just might, and that’s due in large part to the play of goaltender Jake Allen. The man they call “Snake” has been brilliant, saving north of 50 shots to steal an overtime win on the road in game one and allowing just 3 goals on 117 shots faced in the series overall. Allen’s play, combined with timely scoring, has St. Louis owning a 3-0 series lead for the eighth time in their 50-year history.
If the Blues can win game 4, it would be the franchise’ 6th ever series sweep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Wild aren’t going to roll over in game 4. Minnesota won 49 games this season, and they aren’t planning on breaking out the golf clubs after just 4 games. Expect an all-out push from a desperate hockey team who has their season on the line.
Game 4 of this best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild comes your direction Wednesday at 8:30 pm local time at Scottrade Center (FS-MW, NBCSN).