St. Louis Blues Looking To Respond After Game 3 Thrashing
The St. Louis Blues played their first Stanley Cup Finals home game in 49 years at the Enterprise Center on Saturday night and it would have been difficult for it to have gone any worse than it did. The Bruins opened the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first period and went on to lead 3-0 at the end of the first period. The added another power play goal just 0:41 seconds into the second period and St. Louis’ first goal at 11:05 did little to stop the Blues freefall. Torey Krug added another power play goal for the Bruins just over a minute later to make it 5-1 at the end of two. The Blues got one back early in the third but the game was out of reach at that point and Boston would go on to a 7-2 rout victory and gain a 2-1 advantage in the best of 7 Stanley Cup Finals.
For the first time in Game 3, the series looked like the mismatch that many had predicted beforehand. The Bruins were just overwhelming on offense going 5 for 5 on the power play and did a solid job on the other end of the ice limiting St. Louis to just 29 shots on Tuuka Rask. At the same time, they chased Jordan Binnington, who allowed 5 goals on 19 shots before getting ‘the hook’ for the first time in his brief NHL career. One of the few positive things to come out of the game for the Blues was their first power play goal of the series from Colton Parayko early in the third. That ended the Bruins’ streak of 19 consecutive successful penalty kills. Of course, they were still down 5-2 at that point and with the Bruins playing so well the result remained a foregone conclusion. Boston had received a lot of criticism for being completely outplayed in Game 2 and they definitely responded. Now the Blues will have to do the same. Since not even the presence of NASCAR legend Richard Petty in the building served to motivate the Blues it’s not apparent what will.
Blues’ head coach Craig Berube had stressed the importance of playing with discipline and that will even more important heading into Game 4. The Blues had been the least penalized team in the playoffs heading in to the finals they took 7 more minor penalties in Game 3 to give them 17 for the series. Coach Berube didn’t come right out and criticize the officials following Game 3 but he did suggest that his team is taking too many penalties:
“First of all, we were the least penalized team in the league in the first three rounds; now all of a sudden we’ve taken 17 penalties in one series. So I don’t know. I don’t buy into all of that, to be honest with you. I think that we could definitely be more composed after the whistle. I think we’ve let some frustration get in there where we maybe do too much after the whistle. So we’ll clean that up, for sure. But like I said, we were the least penalized team in the league coming into this series. I don’t agree with all of the calls.”
Simply put, the Bruins are the better team. In the past 20 years, there have been no 4-0 sweeps in the Stanley Cup Finals and only four have gone fewer than six games. Unless the Blues get things straight very quickly this could be number five. Realistically, the only way that St. Louis is getting back into this series is if the Bruins’ play deteriorates like it did in Game 2. More likely, they’ve learned their lesson and at a small underdog price on the NHL betting odds board they’re the way to play it.
BET BOSTON BRUINS +103 OVER ST. LOUIS BLUES
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