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Takeaways From Game 5

Game Five of the Stanley Cup finals, which saw the St. Louis Blues defeat the Boston Bruins 2-1, was a tense and remarkable contest for the entire 60 minutes of play. I was riveted to the screen for every minute of what Stan Lee might call “pulse pounding” action. What are some takeaways from this very entertaining Game 5?

1. It is unfortunate that officiating can dominate a discussion regarding such an important game, however missed calls are part of the price we pay for sports. People are not perfect and not every call is made. I seem to recall a flagrant hand pass in the Blues/Sharks Western Conference Final Game 3 that resulted in a Blues sudden death loss in overtime, 5-4. It happens and the referees are easy to judge. Its a tough job.

2. The missed tripping call allows the Bruins and their fans to ignore the remarkable performance of Blues rookie Goalie Jordan Binnington. He stopped 38 of 39 shots, including a first period that saw the Bruins shoot 17 times on goal and he stopped every one. Binnington and the Blues also killed off three Bruins power plays. The Bruins have had a very effective power play in the playoffs, however it got nowhere on Thursday night. This was largely because a rookie, yes, we cannot say that enough, stood tall in goal.

3. Also lost in the shuffle is Blues Center Ryan O’Reilly and his fabulous game. He flies around the ice like a man with a mission. He is formidable on the face off, winning 19 of 28 (67.9%) from the dot in Game 5. Winning face offs are a key part of the Blues puck possession game. Add to that the fact O’ Reilly got a goal and an assist in a game his team scored only two goals and you see how valuable he was to his team. There is no reason to think that will not continue.

4. Say what you will about other circumstances, it still remains true that the Bruins could not solve Binnington or the St. Louis Blues swarming defense. They had plenty of chances, plenty of shots, but it only went in once. There really were too many shots and the Blues need to lower that number, however the defense held. Furthermore, there were a number of shots by the Blues, including a remarkable body save by Bruins center David Krejci, that prevented what looked like sure goals. The Blues are in the driver’s seat in this series. If they continue to attack the net, keep the puck out of their zone and fight for all three periods, they will win in St. Louis on Sunday.


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Takeaways From Game 5

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