Open question: have the St. Louis Blues played at a high level during any of their first three games against the San Jose Sharks?
Yes, they won Game 1, but even Ken Hitchcock seemed to think that their efforts were a little lacking. (Something that caught up with them afterward.)
The Sharks have been successful in slowing the Blues down, and thus haven’t been firing away chance after chance themselves, yet the shots on goal totals make you wonder if the Blues have been a little flat:
Game 1: Blues win 2-1, St. Louis generates 23 shots on goal, Sharks get 32
Game 2: Sharks win 4-0, St. Louis generates 26 SOG, Sharks get 24
Game 3: Sharks win 3-0, St. Louis generates 22 SOG, Sharks get 16
No doubt, much of those results revolve around tempo (and sharp play by Martin Jones, who’s only allowed two goals so far during this series).
Still, you do kind of want to see a little more desperation …
When a goalie change happens during a game, it’s sometimes as much about sending a message to that netminder’s teammates than to condemn the way the goalie is playing. It seems like Hitch is doing a similar for this series.
Will that (and Hitch’s mysterious “change”) be enough to get the Blues back on track? We’ll find out soon enough.