The beat goes on for the Philadelphia Flyers, as they staged a big effort in game 4 to force a game 5 in Washington. I said that the series is over, and I still think that is the case, but I have to take into consideration that this is the Washington Capitals. They are a team that has mastered the art of the choke. Could you imagine if the Capitals blew a 3-0 series lead? Especially after the regular season they just had. Oh my.
Alexander Ovechkin should probably give up the idea of winning a Stanley Cup in Washington if that came to fruition. Another close out scenario tonight in the NHL playoffs, as the St. Louis Blues can bury the defending Stanley Cup champs and win the series 4-1. The Blues took both games in Chicago and are on the ropes now.
Like I said in the first game of this series, the Blues are a VERY good team that are being undervalued by the media and fans alike due to their past failures in the playoffs. I know you’re going to say what’s the difference between them and the Capitals? You’re right, but the Blues have always had key injuries on their roster every time the playoffs roll around. The Blues are healthy and added some additional talent over the years as well.
The Blackhawks stirred the pot last game, or should I say, Andrew Shaw stirred the pot with his comments from the penalty box. I’m somebody who is tired of political correctness in society today, but he should have known not to yell out what he did. The incident will cost him and his team, as Shaw will be suspended for a game and fined $5000.00. Game 4 might be the end of the year for Shaw if the Blackhawks fail to deliver in St. Louis tonight. The Blackhawks will need to win three in a row to advance to the next round. Conversely, the Blues can’t lay off the pedal, they need to go for the jugular tonight.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues NHL Playoffs Pick
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have to take this series over for the Blackhawks to come all the way back. They have come back before, so it wouldn’t be new to them. The Hawks were downed in the past two games by a 1 goal spread to get themselves in this conundrum. I don’t think the Shaw incident is going to serve as much of a distraction, but his absence on the ice should be felt. Playing and tinkering around with the lines at the point in the game is a troubling situation to be in. Shaw only had 14 goals and 20 assists on the season, but note he had a good +/- of 11. In other words, pucks were going in the net when he was on the ice. There is much to a hockey player than just the goals and assists, and Shaw is one of those players that doesn’t always put up a big stat sheet, but his presence is felt beyond the numbers.
I think the Hawks are in trouble tonight. They are feeling dejected after failing to win one game at home, a place they are notoriously good. Brian Elliott hasn’t needed to be spectacular in the last two games, the offense has been clicking for the Blues. But I think Elliott is going to be in for a big night tonight back at home. The Blues can’t let the Blackhawks off the hook. If the Blackhawks win tonight I see this series going 7 games. However, the Blues should be able to seize the opportunity and put an end to this series in only 5 games. The Blues defeat the Blackhawks in 5 games and send a message to the rest of the league.
PICK: BLUES TO WIN -125