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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sit down and watch this game tonight

Blues and Blackhawks are set to play at 7:30 p.m.

April 21, 2014

Ignore all the other playoff hockey games.

The Blues-Blackhawks series is the best.

The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks are two of the top contending teams playing for the Stanley Cup in this year’s NHL playoffs.

The blue and red sweaters are prominent around campus as the series heats up.

The first two games went in favor of the Blues as they won both games 4-3 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead. The pair of wins were crucial for St. Louis before heading on the road for the next two games in Chicago. Crucial because Chicago has some of the most passionate fans in all of hockey, creating an extremely hostile environment for opposing teams.

St. Louis hasn’t done well with 2-0 leads in the past. It was just last year that the Blues held a 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings before being bounced in six games. Going into Chicago, the Blues will only need to win one of the two games before coming back home for game five. That is, of course, if there is a game five.

I was surprised to see Chicago come out flat and drop two in a row on the road. You wouldn’t expect that from a seasoned playoff team, but they made costly mistakes and left the door open for St. Louis to take advantage. The Blues certainly earned the wins no doubt scoring late in each contest to send them into overtime, but the Blackhawks are a much better team than we saw on the ice in the first two games.

Maybe they have the pressure to repeat and bring the Stanley Cup back to Chicago for a second straight year or maybe it’s first round jitters. Either way the Blackhawks will come back hungrier and more physical than ever to try and level the playing field.

However, they will be doing so without a key member of the team, Brent Seabrook. Seabrook was suspended for three games by the league for a hit to the head on Blues captain David Backes in game two. Though Backes will likely be sidelined for a stint of time as well, we don’t know for how long.

I’ve heard people say the penalty on Seabrook was too harsh or too easy, but I think it’s just right. It was a dirty play and shouldn’t have happened; I think everyone generally agrees. Although the league handled the situation with a stiff penalty, it sends the right message that this won’t be tolerated. Seabrook cost his team the game and possibly the series as they could have gone back to Chicago with the series tied. Instead they trail 2-0 in search for an answer to the Blues’ tenacity to never give up.

The old Chicago and St. Louis rivalry is finally coming back into fruition. I,for one, am even more excited following the game two antics to watch as both teams fight tooth and nail to send the other home early. The players hate each other, the fans hate each other, and the cities hate each other. Stay tuned.

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