Blues limp into Conference Final

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Dr.Sens(e), May 22, 2004.

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  1. Dr.Sens(e)

    Dr.Sens(e) Registered User

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    Blues limp into Conference Final

    (AP) St. Louis: Steve Yzerman and Dany Heatley had two goals a piece, as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 to close out their best of seven series four games to three.

    It marked the second consecutive come from behind series win for the Blues, and their 5th consecutive win when facing elimination. The Blues came from behind from three games to two against the Hawks, and had come from a three games to one deficit to defeat the Edmonton Oilers in the first round.

    “I think it’s testament to how slow we started in both series before really playing our kind of hockey, rather than making it sound like we’re all such clutch players.†said Captain Chris Pronger. “Early games in a series are just as important, and we weren’t exactly clutch in those games.â€

    “We won’t be able to get away with that againâ€.

    Blues head coach Marc Crawford agreed.

    “We’re now facing a team that is much more talented than the two teams we’ve just squeaked by in the last two series. If we start out this series against the Ducks the same way, we’ll never make it to game 7.â€

    These Ducks are Indeed Mighty

    It will be the first post-season match-up for the Blues against the Mighty Ducks, and easily their toughest opponent thus far. In defeating both San Jose and Detroit, the Ducks have now eliminated the last two Western Conference Champions in impressive fashion.

    “They have no weaknesses.†admitted General Manager Nick Quain. “They match up with us in every category.â€

    The Ducks have an incredibly balanced attack with forwards such as Eric Lindros, Ziggy Palffy, Eric Daze, Brian Rolston, Bryan Smolinski and leading playoff scorer Tony Amonte. They also boast a lethal powerplay quarterbacked by Al MacInnis and Bryan Rafalski, and arguably the leagues’ top checking unit of Mike Ricci, Jeff Friesen and John Madden. Goaltender Sean Burke is a veteran work horse between the pipes.

    Despite the Blues having home ice advantage and having finished the season as the top team in the Western Conference, Vegas odds opened with the Mighty Ducks as slight favorites, partly based on their impressive play thus far in the post-season when compared to the Blues, and partly on the fact Nikolai Khabibulin is out indefinitely with a broken toe.

    Biron to Start

    Many of the Blues faithful were distraught to hear the Blues would need to tackle their most formidable playoff foe to date without their top net-minder. Khabibulin had been working on a shut-out in the third period of game 7 with the Blues leading 6-0, before breaking his toe on a Joe Sakic slap shot.

    Biron came on in relief, and subsequently gave up two goals on eight shots in less than a period of work, and now boasts some frighteningly bad post season numbers, with a 4.39 goals against average and .842 save percentage in a little less than a game and half of action thus far.

    “Marty will be fine†claimed Crawford. “He’s been stellar for us in the post-season in season’s past after Mike Dunham had been injured, so we’re not too concerned about his capabilities.â€

    Many experts disagree.

    “This is bad.†stated one Western Conference executive. “Burke versus Biron is not something the Blues can count on in terms of such an important match-up. I thought the Ducks might win with both teams healthy, so I definitely think the Ducks will win now.â€

    Crawford later admitted the Blues are hoping Khabibulin will be able to return before the series over.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2004
  2. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

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    Well, I guess this means I won! The only computer I've had access to doesn't have Java, so I haven't actually been able to see the second round scores...

    Guess this means there's only one thing left to say...QUACK!
     
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