The Blues seem to be very happy with their performance in Game 1.
But just about everyone you talk to knows they’ll have to turn it up a notch to win the series, or even just to win tonight’s Game 2.
Here’s what some of the players had to say about being ready for a strong push from the Kings tonight.
Jordan Leopold: “We didn’t play a perfect game by any means, but we played pretty well. To be able to come out and do that, that was big. Especially to begin at home, we wanted to get our crowd into it and get the ball rolling early. We’ve got to go out tonight and come prepared and be ready to work.”
Chris Stewart: “You know they’re going to come hard. You can’t get frustrated and you can’t retaliate or take a penalty. Just match their intensity.”
Ken Hitchcock: “We’re playing as well as we’ve played all year, we’re playing that way right now, and all that does is give us an overtime win. That’s how good the hockey club we’re playing against is. We’re going to have to find a way to keep getting better and better as this series moves on, because we know in that room, they will.”
All that being said, the Kings find themselves in rather unfamiliar territory. They never trailed in a series during their Stanley Cup Playoff run last season, beginning each round with a 3-0 lead. It will be interesting for sure to see how they respond.
The Blues know tonight won’t be easy, but they say they’ll be ready.
LATER START TIME
Tonight’s game begins at 8:30 p.m., which is an awfully unusual start time for a game played in St. Louis.
As a result, the Blues started their morning skate 30 minutes later than usual today.
How will the later start time affect the player’s routines? Not very much at all, apparently.
“It pushes everything back, but no big consequence,” David Backes said. “We’ll be ready to go whenever the puck drops and with the atmosphere in this building, it’d be tough not to be.”
Said Stewart: “I’m known for my gameday naps and that certainly won’t be a problem today. There’s going to be plenty of time for that. It’s going to be a late start, but it is what it is. Drink an extra Red Bull maybe and that’s about it.”
Ken Hitchcock on the difference between himself and Kings' head coach Darryl Sutter: “In the summer, he talks to cows and I talk to golfers.”
The Blues won 63.8% of the faceoffs in Game 1, tying a franchise best in the postseason.
Andy McDonald won eight of nine faceoffs in Game 1, which is the Blues’ best single game faceoff performance in history (88.9%).
Alexander Steen became the first player in team history to score a shorthanded overtime game-winning goal. It was the first shorthanded overtime game-winner since Edmonton’s Fernando Pisani scored in 2006.
The Blues are 20-11 all-time in a playoff series when they win Game 1.
Before this season, the Blues and Kings have met in the playoffs three times. The winner of Game 1 has won each series (all three were sweeps).
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