Ghosts of Playoffs Past by Bob Ryan

stanley cup 2016Ebenezer Puckhead couldn’t stand the pressure of game 7…while he madly wanted to watch the entire game, the stress/pressure of worrying about the game wore him out and he dozed off with the score 2-2…then all those terrible ghosts of Playoffs past returned to him…

….the Blues hadn’t won one…even one…playoff game from 2005 to 2011…so the ghost of deprivation descended down to disturb his slumber           

…..In  2012 as the Conference Champions, the Blues breezed through the Sharks 4 games to 1 only to see the LA Kings pound them into submission 4-0…the ghost of disbelief reared its ugly head                                                                                                                                               

……last year as conference Champions-again with the most overall points of ANY NHL team (who cares about the president’s trophy anyway said this ghost?), series tied 2-2, the Blues drop that last two games to the Wild Card team- the Minnesota not-so Wild…in that game 5, the Blues almost doubled the Wild in shots on goal but lost… the ghost of shock attacked us..again and again

…the ghost of conference champ bit us over and over as we won the Central conference in 2000, the Norris Conf in 1987 and in 1985 only to be sent packing in the first round of each of those playoffs…the ghost of “overconfidence” or “overrated”….we couldn’t tell which…kept flying back to haunt us over and over again

….THEN….SUDDENLY he woke back up….there was Troy Brouwer (a former BlackHawk) scoring from in the crease ….. maybe the ghosts would end now…when was the last time that the Blues scored a goal in the crease in the Playoffs?….more ghosts evaporated as the BlackHawks shot on goal, ricochet off BOTH goal posts…the last 5 minutes of the game seemed to last 5 hours to Ebenezer who suddenly felt freed….the Blues made all the ghosts disappear with the 3-2 win!!  GLORY BE !!  The Blues Won a first round !!!

Ebenezer now felt like the Blues COULD…and probably…SHOULD win the 2nd series…beyond that is extremely rarified air for the Blues…only twice (1986, 2001) since their first 3 years in the league had the Blues made it to the 3rd round (lost both times)….but Ebenezer feels differently now….there’ll be no fall-time interruption with NFL mediocrity…the Blues & Birds seem to be in harmony….the owner loves the Blues & St. Louis …not just money…Ebenezer woke up with a smile, feeling refreshed!

Some more Blues  thoughts….                                                                                                                               

…..I was very happy for the Blues fans (and of course the team)….seems like they’ve been wandering around the playoff desert  for decades trying to find the promise land of the Stanley Cup ..many of those folks have religiously attended all the games, wear their Blues jerseys, yelled “Let’s Go Blues” about a million times…can’t we get a new cheer?…it’s like the Cards fans doing the wave in the 8th inning…come on…are we sitting on our imagination?

….rather ironical, that a team built on speed & offense scores the winning goal with a guy perched right in the crease .. I wonder if the other Blues players feel like they’ll be arrested for some type of loitering offense for hanging around the goal-crease?

….this team does have a wide mixture of parts….I’m far from a hockey expert..more like a spring-time  hockey fan(which means I’m watching the entire game now that we’re in the playoffs)….but I do love the youthfulness, skill, speed of Schwartz, Fabbri, Parayko,  Lehtera….the current sniper-deluxe—Vladimir Tarasenko (I’ll try to spell it right this week), the poise of of Stastny with the puck, the feisty 4th line guys who brought tons of energy, Steen’s skill/toughness qualities, and the play of Elliott in net….

…observation…..I liked the real movement of the Black Hawks on their power play…everyone was in motion..the Blues seem like we’re in one place with minor movement…I’ve always found it harder to guard people who are moving instead of standing still or barely moving

….2nd observation…where has this Patrick Berglund been ? what an uptick from him.

So in order to sound like a Blues fan…and let Ebenezer go back to sleep….LET’S GO BLUES!

Trending Up….

.…Yadi looks slightly stronger to me this year…and I think he’s swinging the bat better

….Diaz has thrown a wrench in the SS works…who thought he’d be this good?

… Mat Latos is with his 6th MLB team as a 28 year old…he’s 4-0 for the White Sox…he did win 14 games in 3 out of 4 year stretch between 2010-2013.. but since 2013 he’s been on the skids… Some might say that he’s hungry again…he was paid $20mil over the 3 year stretch 2013-14,15…now he’s earning a paltry $3mil

…Jose Altuve (Hou) is probably best lead-off man in MLB (hitting .321) right now

….Christian Yelich (Miami) is demonstrating the strong skills that the Marlins thought that he possessed when he signed a big contract with them (hitting .371)

Floating thoughts as you Tread water….

…Reynolds was a better bench player the Gyorko…sure he can’t play SS…but now we have too many shortstops (Peralta (inj), Tejada, Diaz, Gyorko)and we’v already dispensed of Greg Garcia…with this glut of SS-1 is inj, 1 can’t hit, 2 can’t field…we still don’t have it settled

…I hear Matt Adams name is coming up in talks with Toronto….you can bet that they aren’t looking for him to bunt there….The Bluejays get hitters

…so Brandon Phillips is 100 batting points higher than Joey Votto today?  .308 to .208

…the AL East is the tightest division…the last place NYY are just 3 games out of 1st !

Trending down…

….has the overwork over the last 3 years diminished Seth Maness? He’s appeared in 66, 73, and 76 games (total of 215 games) during that time….It looks like Manifesto is using the Kleenex Principle here—use em and throw em away quickly

….key CF…Lorenzo Cain is hitting .200…the Royals need his speed on base to win

…has Miguel Cabrera finally been tapped by Fr. Time?  He’s currently hitting .254 (after going 4 for 4 last night)

….Albert….Albert…why have you stayed so long?…. .171 to this point makes me feel sad that you’ve felt compelled to play….I’m becoming convinced by my bro(huge Card fan) ..he  thinks that Albert will reconcile someday and be wearing a Red jacket on opening day at some point down the road.

…when you start crabbing about the Cards…look South….the Atlanta Braves are 4-15, 10.5 games out of 1st place on April 26….no wonder Atlantians can’t wait for the Falcons to begin

…David Price, the big fish of last years Free Agent Fishing Derby, holds a 7.06 as he enters tonight contest for Boston.. careful what you catch in that Free Agent waters

Comments

  1. Jim Pleimann says:

    I will say I gave the Blues no chance to win last night. With that said, I said to all who would listen that if they did win, my confidence level changes completely and they have what it takes to make a good run. What a series. Too bad it was not a Stanley Cup final, because it should/could have been. It had everything. Way too much to discuss here. Good for the boys! LGB (sorry about that Bob)
    Poor Albert.
    Hard to believe that the Jhonny Peralta injury has had such a trickle down effect on this team…
    as of 4/26 only one team in baseball is averaging more runs a game than the Cardinals… the Cubs.
    I hope ol Ebenezer can make it through the second round…..

  2. George Deschler says:

    Bob can you shorten up these things? I feel as if I’m studying for a history exam!!

  3. Joe Parisi says:

    Not a big hockey fan, but this series has won me over! Find it interesting that had they lost , 1/2 team of vets and Hitch would be gone??

    Peralta has 1 yr left on his deal. They will let him walk in favor of Diaz. $1mm for Tejada…he’s gone when Peralta returns. Manness should have sent out rather than Garcia… Nothing more to prove at AAA.
    Regular play could return Adams to form.. Best defensive 1st baseman they have! Speaking of defense, boy, they miss Oquendo!!

  4. John Rocco says:

    Bob, good stuff. BTW can you explain to how the Blues end up playing Dallas in the second round? The Blues had the second highest total points in the Wedtern Conference. Makes no sense to me.

    Also, I totally agree that Mannes has to go to Memphis. He’s like. BP pitcher.

    See you on Thursday.

    John

  5. Larry Eveker says:

    Thanks for the read Bob.
    I have to admit that high definition TV makes it a lot easier to follow the puck. I enjoy watching hockey a lot more now that I can see the fast flying puck.

    See you Friday
    Larry

  6. Joel delpha says:

    Would like the Blues to win the Stanley Cup once within my lifetime, and I am running our of lifetime.i

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