Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Thrill Ride Isn't over Yet

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Thrill Ride Isn't over Yet

Article excerpt

If the Blues don't win this Stanley Cup playoff series with the Los Angeles Kings, they will lament the third period Monday night. They had a 3-2 lead after two periods.

If they don't win this series, they will kick themselves over Game 3. They were the better team on the Staples Center ice that night, but the scoreboard didn't reflect it.

If they don't win this series, you will be in denial. You will remember how it started, with back-to-back wins at Scottrade Center, with such promise. You will scan the corners of your brain for a reasonable explanation of how it could end so wrong. The answer will never satisfy.

It's what you signed up for, isn't it? If not, then you failed to read the playoff disclaimer:

"The NHL makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness, adequacy or pleasing nature of the contents of this engagement, and expressly disclaims liability for broken expectations and/or emotional wear and tear that may occur because of the contents herein. No warranty is implied, expressed, or statutory, including but not limited to the warranties of non- infringement of your overall peace of mind."

There, you see, it's all there in the fine print. You must be prepared for this, these invigorating highs and devastating lows. You do best to not get ahead of yourself. Head-man the puck and trail the play. There will be happiness, there will be heartache and there will be blood.

It can take place in a couple of days, or it can take place in a matter of minutes, as it did in the first 20 minutes of Game 4.

Many Blues fans are in a state of despair right now, trying to decompress after a bumpy ride and rapid descent Monday night. A 2-0 lead and a 3-1 series lead was transformed into a 4-3 loss and a 2- 2 series knot right before their eyes. Start them on fluids, cover them with a warm blanket, make them rest.

The two games in Los Angeles don't mean any more than the two games in St. Louis meant. The Blues and Kings have reached an agreement. They have shown each other their cards. Now they will reshuffle and deal a fresh hand.

"Who's got control of anything right now?" Blues coach Ken Hitchcock asked after the Hollywood Horror flick of a loss in Game 4. "They got momentum off (Game 4). I don't think they got momentum from Game 3, we probably deserved a better fate in that game.

"But they took the game (on Monday). They were better than we were. They won a lot of puck battles that we had been winning before. They dialed it up, so there's another level out there and it's our job now to find it and answer it."

A playoff series a juicy playoff series is like this. This is why we love the playoffs. They blindfold us and take us to the edge. We didn't get there last year or in 2008-09. We never needed an IV, not even an antacid. …

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