It’s the DTFR Podcast’s official season preview for all things Central Division in 2018-19 as Nick and Connor embark on season five of the show…
Nick, Cap’n and Pete announce their top-10 right wingers of their lifetimes while Connor mails it in and Nick reads his list (somebody has to do work around here). Keeping with tradition, all of Thursday’s big news was announced during or shortly after recording.
No, this is not the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals. Just because Ken Hitchcock, Brett Hull and Lindy Ruff are involved doesn’t mean we’re going to be concerned with skates in the crease. That being said, that game from almost 17 years ago may have been in the back of Ruff’s mind, as he exacted revenge in a 2-1 victory.
There wasn’t much to talk about in the first period. Only 20 shots were fired between the two teams and none of them found the back of the net, even though there were four minutes played of uneven hockey.
Antoine Roussel finally scored the first goal of the series at the 9:36 mark of the second period, as his slap shot was assisted by First Star of the Game Radek Faksa and John Klingberg (his third helper of the postseason). It was a coast-to-coast play, beginning with Roussel advancing the puck through all three zones. From the right face-off circle, he passed cross-ice to Klingberg, who immediately centered the puck for a Faksa wrister that was blocked by Second Star Brian Elliott. Roussel collected the rebound and fired his slap shot over the diving Elliott to give Dallas a lead they would not yield through the remainder of the frame.
Kevin Shattenkirk and the Blues leveled with 8:28 remaining in regulation on a pure slap shot, assisted by Colton Parayko and Patrik Berglund. 3:44 later, Faksa earned his second point of the night with the game-winning goal, a wrister assisted by Ales Hemsky (his third helper of the playoffs) and Alex Goligoski. Once again, it was another rebound off an Elliott block, as after Hemsky advanced the puck into the offensive zone, he passed to Goligoski who attempted a wrister that was stopped, but not covered by Elliott. Faksa quickly advanced on the puck and slid it past Elliott’s left skate before he could seal the crease, giving the Stars their winner.
Dallas certainly deserved to win this one, as they led in shots (42-32; led by Colton Sceviour’s five shots) and blocks (22-11; led by Goligoski’s four blocks). Additionally, they beat the Blues at their own game, as they threw six more hits to impose their will.
Third Star Kari Lehtonen earns the win after saving 31 of 32 shots faced (96.9%), while Elliott, who saved 40 of 42 (95.2%), takes the loss.
Game 2 will occur at 3 p.m. eastern on May Day, two days from now. That contest may be viewed on NBC, SN or TVAS.
By: Nick Lanciani
What will retired numbers look like around the league in the future? While there’s only a finite set of numbers to utilize on the back of a jersey, many teams choose to retire (or honor) some numbers based on extraordinary circumstances, dedication to the organization, or legendary status.
With that in mind, I explore what each team around the NHL might do in the coming seasons. Feel free to speak your mind and drop us a line in the comments or tweet to @DtFrozenRiver using #DTFRNumbersGame.
For each team, I thought of former and current players that should have their numbers retired now or once they hang up the skates.
St. Louis Blues
Current Retired Numbers- 2 Al MacInnis, 3 Bob Gassoff, 8 Barclay Plager, 11 Brian Sutter, 16 Brett Hull, 24 Bernie Federko
Current Honored Numbers- 5 Bob Plager, 7 Red Berenson/ Garry Unger/ Joe Mullen/ Keith Tkachuk, 14 Doug Wickenheiser
Recommended Numbers to Retire/Honor
38 Pavol Demitra
Demitra spent the longest time in his career with St. Louis. He had several tremendous seasons with the Blues in scoring. Sadly, he was killed in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslav plane crash. Out of pure respect for all who play the game and good guys like Demitra, the onus is really on the Blues to put aside his number for good in remembrance.
20 Alexander Steen
Steen has had a remarkable career so far with the Blues and is destined to see his number honored by St. Louis in some fashion, provided he isn’t moved by the end of his days on the ice.
42 David Backes
Backes encapsulates the consummate power forward and St. Louis Blue. It is without a doubt that this fan favorite, and captain, will remain a part of the Blues for years to come and see his number raised to the roof of the Scottrade Center in some capacity.
91 Vladimir Tarasenko
As long as Tarasenko can keep up with the thrills of his career so far, then there’s already a place reserved in the rafters for a number 91 banner at the end of his projected superstar career.