As the Blues get ready to take on Colorado, the results of the outcome are easy. Win, finish sixth and play Vancouver. Lose, finish eighth and play San Jose in the first round.
During the regular season, the Blues were 2-1-1 vs. San Jose. However, the “current” Blues, the team that had the best record in the NHL from January 3 on, only faced San Jose once. That game concluded a 1-4-1 stretch and a long road trip for the Sharks. Brian Boucher was in goal for the injured Evgeni Nabakov. But, the Blues did dominate at home. The other San Jose games were played early. On November 6, the Blues lost a 5-4 OT decision at the Shark Tank. Manny Legace and Chris Mason were both hurt for that game, so Ben Bishop started and made 38 saves. Mason did start a 5-4 road loss on December 13…and on December 27, the day the Blues announced Paul Kariya’s hip surgery, Manny Legace turned in a 3-2 shootout win at Scottrade.
During the regular season, the Blues were 2-2 vs. Vancouver, with all the games played after January 3. One of the biggest wins of the year was a 6-4, see-saw affair on January 9 at GM Place. Brad Boyes’ power play goal with 2:10 left put the Blues ahead for good in that one. On the flip side, one of the worst losses of the year took place on February 10 at Scottrade. The Blues were up 3-2 heading into the third period, and 4-3 midway through the third…but lost 6-4. On March 19, the Blues were shut out 3-0 at GM Place, but won 4-2 at home a week later.
Even though the Sharks won the President’s Trophy, I don’t like Nabakov as much as I like Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. And with Mats Sundin playing well, the Vancouver offense provides quite a threat. Not as much as the Sharks offense, but I’ll take my chances with Chris Mason in goal for the Blues.
Lets give the Sharks what they gave the Blues in 2000. Knock off the President’s Trophy winners in the first round.