[FONT="Verdana"]Maybe I spoke too soon in my previous blog and jinxed Manny Legace, although I would like to think that isn’t the case. Maybe this is simply a slump of which the Blues will soon break free. (I like that explanation better because then I am not at fault.) Either way, the past couple of games have been excruciating.
The Blackhawks game on Wednesday was awful. Manny started off strong by making a couple of key saves very early into the first period. I got my hopes up, thinking that we could beat the dreaded ‘Hawks and move even further ahead in the standings. My hopes were soon dashed when a Chicago player barreled into Legace, sending him to the ice in pain. Legace – one of the Blues players that I feel I have an emotional attachment to. Legace – our star player. Even with an injury, he finished the first period and stopped every shot that was taken. My spirits rose and thought this would be a game with a happy ending after all. Poor Marek Schwarz did not follow through on those hopes. I have conflicting feelings on whether or not to blame him. On one hand, he knowingly advanced into the back-up goalie position for an NHL team. He knew there is always a chance he could be placed in goal during a prominent game. Therefore, he should have been mentally ready to goaltend. On the other hand, he has not played in many NHL games and was probably knee-knockingly nervous. There are thousands and thousands of people watching you play. The Chicago coach was most likely telling his players to pound “the new guy” because he is an easy target. Either way, Schwarz did not last long and was moved back to Peoria after losing to the ‘Hawks.
Imagine my joy when it was announced that Legace was alright and would be playing in Saturday’s game against Nashville. Here is our chance to regain our pride! Instead, we lost 5-2 and have lost four straight games. Legace allowed four goals on fifteen shots and was replaced by Toivonen, who we (thankfully) recalled from Peoria. Toiv had played two games while in Peoria and won both of them, thus regaining his confidence from his recent losses with the Blues. Goals from Brad Boyes and Andy MacDonald were the highlights on the Blues’ side.
I hate seeing the Blues suffer like this. I am sure that Andy Murray will be working these guys hard in the next couple of practices, as well he should. We still need to work on our power-play, but I have a feeling I will be saying that for the rest of the season. We still need to work on defense. We still need stronger offense. However, as a die-hard Blues fan, I will weather this storm with the boys because nothing – nothing – can be as bad as it was two years ago. [/FONT]