The St. Louis Blues have no choice but to move on from the controversial ending to Game 3.
There’s no time to pout or bark about rule changes or let how Erik Karlsson’s overtime goal developed stay with them. The Blues have an opportunity Friday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN; live stream) to head back to San Jose with the series knotted at two and not with them facing the prospect of elimination down 3-1.
The non-stop media questions about the missed hand pass and ability for Craig Berube and his players to either hold their true feelings in or allow them to pass has served as a “test,” the head coach noted on Thursday.
“It is hard,” Berube said. “For sure, it’s not easy to do. It’s a test. That’s how you look at it. It’s a tough play, tough call. But it’s just a test. And again, we’ve been tested over and over throughout the season and the playoffs. And I think we’re pretty good at bouncing back. So that’s the way I look at it.
“It’s a mental thing more than anything. We’ve got to move past that game. Focus on Game 4. It’s a huge game, we’re at home, look to tie the series up and go back to San Jose.”
The messaging from the Blues has been the same since Game 3 ended, but the time since has also served as a way for them to look at how things fell apart for them before overtime. A four-goal second period gave them a 4-3 lead until Logan Couture forced the extra period with 61 seconds left in the third period.
“We scored four goals in a playoff game, we should win it,” said Berube. “Some of it is self-inflicted by us on the goals. We’ve got to clean that up a little bit.”
Maybe something changes over the summer with video review. That’s a concern for general manager Doug Armstrong to handle. His players are heading into their most important game of the season Friday night.
“It’s a hard job. They’re the best at what they do,” said Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. “You can argue for whatever happened, but bottom line is we let the game get to overtime. Anything happens. I think for us, it’s done. There’s no sense looking behind you. We’ve got a game [Friday]. I think what we learned from [Wednesday night] is we played the way we can.”