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MORE BETTER BLUES!

Published on April 20th 2014

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The St. Louis Blues are up 2-0 in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks, but this isn't over by a long shot. The old saying about not being behind in a playoff series until you've lost a home game rings true. The veteran 'Hawks are going to be very difficult to beat on home ice and it's completely possible that the clubs will be tied for Game 5's tilt.

Let's have a look at what happened during specific game states Saturday afternoon (via Extra Skater).

This is 5x5 Corsi close %, and shows a pretty equal hockey game. The Blues were outshot 11-9 in the first period, but held a 2-0 lead after one. When Chicago had their backs to the wall, they reacted with fury and rage.

Here's the overall 5x5, with "close" numbers added to the totals when St. Louis was up on Chicago. The "not close" CF-CA (23-11) gives us a feel for how hard Chicago worked (and the success they had) in getting the game back to a tie.

During the broadcast, Greg Millen (!!!!) mentioned the Corsi rates being heavily in Chicago's favor and my brain kicked in "it's only a matter of time" which happens when you've watched a lot of hockey. You don't have to be a Corsi devotee to do that by the way, many people who have never heard of advanced stats have a very good idea about who's zooming who for long stretches.

What's interesting is that St. Louis got the OT goal. There's a great deal of luck involved in winning a game like this, but St. Louis has been an "also-ran" for a long time and winning the game is a major deal. Chicago isn't going to panic, but climbing the mountain became much more difficult with the Blues victory.

What can Chicago do in order to get back into the series? Well, a few more saves would help, and a reprieve from the governor on the Brent Seabrook hit on David Backes would also be great news.

I think the 'Hawks need more goals. They may have to load up one line (Toews, Hossa, Kane) and run them ragged until the team has a significant lead.

Chicago can win this series. What they can't do, and this is new, is lose the next game.

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