(HockeyStL) - I don't care who you are. I don't care how much confidence you think you have. When you lose eight straight times to a team over a near two year period, there are going to be doubts about your ability to beat said team.
This was the situation the Blues found themselves in with regards to the Kings prior to Tuesday night's game one 2-1 OT victory. They hadn't beaten the Kings in EIGHT tries. Three times this season. Four times in last year's playoffs. One time prior to that as well.
But now? Now that they've not only snapped that streak but taken a lead in this playoff series? All bets are off.
"Especially in the first game it's really huge. They had taken eight in a row against us. Sometimes it lingers in your head that they've taken those games from you," Blues forward Ryan Reaves said.
Not anymore. Now the Blues have "gotten (the Kings) attention" as head coach Ken Hitchcock so eloquently put it. If you thought that first game on Tuesday night was physical, oh boy, just wait until you see Game Two. It was like a heavyweight boxing match with the physicality on both sides. You'd only expect the intensity to pick up even more.
Can the Blues actually go on and win this series? They thoroughly outplayed the Kings on Tuesday night but were ultimately fortunate to win given the late goal they surrendered in regulation. The Note is still having a very tough time scoring. That's just a fact. 2.6 goals a game - good for 17th in the NHL - is not going to cut it during the postseason.
You can't count on Brian Elliot holding opponents to just a single goal each game and have that carry you through to the Stanley Cup. Despite the hot streak he's riding, it's an awfully risky way to live.
Tonight represents an opportunity for the Blues to take complete and total control of this series as it heads back to Los Angeles. Up 2-0 on the defending Stanley Cup champions? After losing eight straight to them, including a sweep last year?
They can show the whole league this is a team you don't want to play this month.