mcloudyn.png
Friday August 23rd, 2019 3:21AM

Road warrior Blues unfazed by Cup Final Game 7 in Boston

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BOSTON (AP) — If the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins in Game 7, perhaps Steve Hatze Petros should get his name on the Stanley Cup.

He is the NHL schedule-maker , making him the most responsible for a January-March stretch when the Blues didn't play more than one consecutive home game at a time. It was a virtual 70-day road trip that forced a team with a half-dozen new faces to come together under coach Craig Berube. It also helped them put up a 9-3 road record in the playoffs and it is a big reason the Blues say they feel totally at home playing for the Cup in Boston on Wednesday night.

"It was a time for us to get to know each other better," center Ryan O'Reilly said. "We got out and got away, got the chance to go to the rink together every day, eat together every day. It just kind of brought us together. I think that's where we found our identity and came together. As you can see throughout the course of the playoffs, we're confident in the room. We find it easier to get to our game and have success."

Whichever team gets to its style of game faster and more effectively wins. That has been the story of this hard-fought series between evenly matched teams that like to play different ways.

Boston wants to skate and use its talent to score goals and grab momentum. St. Louis prefers to get pucks deep in the attacking zone, make defenders turn around and then deliver body blows whenever possible.

The Blues front office has tried to replicate life on the road by having players stay in a hotel at home, but they are just 6-7 in St. Louis in the playoffs.

"I think when you're at home, you're maybe trying to play a little differently at times," Berube said.

The opening minutes of a 5-1 loss in Game 6 exemplified that. Players abandoned their straightforward approach and got fancy by trying to razzle-dazzle the puck past the Bruins, and when a goal didn't materialize in the first 10 minutes, momentum went the other way.

That's exactly how the Bruins like it.

"We came out pretty well," Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo said. "We've had good starts on the forecheck early, playing assertive, being aggressive and staying right on top of them, not backing down from anything, keeping our gaps tight, forwards are doing a great job on the forecheck and kind of asserting the pace out there."

Who sets the pace could win Game 7. If it is fast and up and down the ice, advantage Bruins.

"I think we're a better skating team, and if we're playing to our pace both skating and moving the puck, I think we've taken over a little bit and created more chances, playing better defensively," Bruins forward Joakim Nordstrom said. "When we're skating, we're getting back on pucks better. It obviously helps our D to break the puck out. Same thing goes up ice. We get on the forecheck a little bit quicker."

The Blues' whole game is based on their forecheck — how they put pressure on opposing defensemen and wear them down over the course of a game and a series.

"We're definitely built to sustain pressure," Blues winger David Perron said. "When we do that, we can really back off teams and hopefully slow down the crowd a little bit."

Quieting what should be a raucous crowd on hand for the first Stanley Cup Final Game 7 in Boston is easier said than done. St. Louis did that in Game 2 to tie the series and is brimming with confidence, unfazed by the lack of home-ice advantage in the final game of the season.

"We're excited and we're happy to get back on the road," winger Patrick Maroon said. "I think this where we jell the best."

The Bruins have won seven of 12 home games in the playoffs. Coach Bruce Cassidy said playing for home-ice advantage all season is for a situation just like this, but the road warrior Blues don't seem concerned.

"We just seem to like it," defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said. "We just keep putting up good results on the road. I don't know why, but it seems to be working for us. We'll try to keep that going."

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Hockey
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sanders to outline 'what democratic socialism means to me'
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is set to give a major speech to rebut accusations by President Donald Trump and others that he is too liberal to win in a general election
6:09PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Pelicans' Griffin says no 'shot clock' on any Davis deal
Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin says the timing of next week's NBA draft won't necessarily raise urgency to deal away disgruntled six-time All-Star Anthony Davis
6:06PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump signs order to speed up biotech reviews
President Trump has signed an executive order intended to simplify the regulatory process for genetically engineered agriculture
6:03PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Mistrial declared on remaining counts against ex-NFL player
A California judge has declared a mistrial on remaining counts against former NFL player Kellen Winslow Jr. after the jury that earlier convicted him of raping a homeless woman remained deadlocked on other charges
5:46PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Grizzlies hire Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins as head coach
Memphis Grizzlies hire Milwaukee Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins to be next head coach
5:46PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Road warrior Blues unfazed by Cup Final Game 7 in Boston
Road warrior Blues unfazed by Stanley Cup Final Game 7 in Boston
5:39PM ( 41 minutes ago )
AP Sports
Pucks and ponies abroad: Olczyk to work first Royal Ascot
Pucks and ponies abroad: Olczyk to work first Royal Ascot a week after Game 7 of Stanley Cup Final
2:41PM ( 3 hours ago )
Red Sox, Big Papi fans rally around Ortiz after shooting
The Boston Red Sox and their fans are rallying around David Ortiz, a day after the popular former slugger known as Big
10:41PM ( 19 hours ago )
Bruins' consistency faces final test in Game 7 vs. Blues
The Boston Bruins' consistent approach on and off the ice will be tested one more time in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues
6:15PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Hockey
Sanders to outline 'what democratic socialism means to me'
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is set to give a major speech to rebut accusations by President Donald Trump and others that he is too liberal to win in a general election
6:09PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Pelicans' Griffin says no 'shot clock' on any Davis deal
Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin says the timing of next week's NBA draft won't necessarily raise urgency to deal away disgruntled six-time All-Star Anthony Davis
6:06PM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump signs order to speed up biotech reviews
President Trump has signed an executive order intended to simplify the regulatory process for genetically engineered agriculture
6:03PM ( 16 minutes ago )
US troops, civilian defense workers get political reminder
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is reminding civilian Defense Department employees and service members not to engage in political activity while on the job
6:01PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Hegerberg's absence prevents reunion with Lyon teammates
The match between host nation France and Norway could have been a reunion for superstar Ada Hegerberg and her club teammates
5:59PM ( 20 minutes ago )