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Old 04-10-2003, 12:46 AM   #16
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uh oh... here komes the karma police
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:47 AM   #17
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Blues vs Canuckleheads thread

I have a feeling that there will be a lot of discussion about this series, so I'd thought I'd start a series specific thread because the other thread will probably become very cluttered. So we can use this thread for matchups, game preview/reviews, good natured trash talking and what not.

My prediction for game 1 is a 7-2 old fashion butt kicking of the Canucks. 3 out of 4 road teams won tonight, and that streak will continue tomorrow.
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:48 AM   #18
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GAME: St. Louis Blues (41-24-11-6) at Vancouver Canucks (45-23-13-1).

PLAYOFF SERIES: Western Conference quarterfinal; Game 1.

TIME: Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Making the playoffs is the easy part for the St. Louis Blues. Doing something significant once they get there has been a problem.

The Blues and new goalie Chris Osgood make their 24th consecutive postseason appearance when they open the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks.


No team in professional sports has qualified for the playoffs in more consecutive seasons than the Blues, who last failed to make the postseason in 1978-79.

While appearing in the playoffs 24 straight years is a major accomplishment, St. Louis has never won a Stanley Cup in its 36 NHL seasons. The Blues haven't reached the Stanley Cup finals since losing in 1970 to the Boston Bruins, and have advanced past the second round just once in the past nine seasons.

"We all understand that this year's playoff performance will be evaluated in the most serious manner possible," Blues president Mark Sauer said. "It's fair for ownership to judge the success of this team by this year's playoff performance. I think it's fair because ownership has invested so much in resources in support of this team."

If St. Louis is to go deep into this year's playoffs, goaltending likely will be the determining factor.

Osgood, acquired from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline, gives the Blues something they have lacked for years - a goalie who is proven in the postseason. While Osgood won Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1997 and '98, though, he is just 14-14 in the playoffs the past four seasons.

Osgood, however, is 12-1-4 lifetime against Vancouver.

"He's been a winner. He came in and in his first five games, he won a few by himself," Blues center Doug Weight said. "Having a guy like that is going to make any team more confident. He really has an aura around him that he believes in himself and that can rub off."

St. Louis can also rely on one of the league's most balanced offenses. The Blues had nine players score at least 10 goals, and were fourth in the NHL with 253 goals.

A better performance from Weight, who had just one assist in 10 playoff games last season, may be critical for the Blues.

St. Louis' defense is anchored by 22-year veteran Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger and impressive rookie Barret Jackman.

Pronger played the final five games of the season after missing most of 2002-03 with wrist and knee injuries. His physical presence will be important against Vancouver's top line of Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison.

Osgood isn't the only goalie that will be under the spotlight in this series. Vancouver's Dan Cloutier has just eight playoff games to his credit and was shaky at times in a first-round loss to the Detroit Red Wings last season.

Cloutier missed time toward the end of this season with a sprained ankle, so his health, as well as his performance is a concern for the Canucks.

A win over Los Angeles in the regular-season finale Sunday would've given Vancouver the Northwest Division title and a first-round matchup with Minnesota. Instead, the Canucks lost 2-0 and dropped to fourth in the conference, but still had the best regular season in franchise history.

Naslund, the team captain, barely missed leading the league in goals and points, finishing an MVP-caliber season with 48 goals and 104 points. Naslund's line was arguably the NHL's best in 2002-03.

"I have to play like everyone else, a team game, making sure I make the right decisions and not try to take it upon myself to beat one or two guys," he said.

Clearly, the Blues will try to limit Vancouver's top line, leaving more opportunities for Canucks forwards Trevor Linden, Matt Cooke, Trent Klatt, Trevor Letowski and Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

"There's so much emphasis by other teams on trying to shut down Markus and Todd, that's obviously going to be any team's plan," Klatt said. "I'm not saying there's going to be any free ice out there."

While the Blues count on Pronger and MacInnis to lead their defense, the Canucks look to Ed Jovanovski, Brent Sopel and Mattias Ohlund. Jovanovski will almost certainly be matched up against the Blues' best offensive players - Pavol Demitra, Keith Tkachuk and Weight.

The Canucks have lost four straight playoff series since beating the Blues in seven games in the 1995 conference quarterfinals.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Blues - 99 points; 5th seed. Canucks - 104 points; 4th seed.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Demitra, 36 goals, 57 assists and 93 points; Reed Low, 234 PIM. Canucks - Naslund, 48 goals, 56 assists and 104 points; Darren Langdon, 154 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blues - Power play: 20.5 percent (80 for 391), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (318 for 389), 22nd. Canucks - Power play: 20.7 percent (87 for 420), 3rd. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (328 for 390), 12th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Osgood (21-17-6, 4 SO, 2.95 GAA); Brent Johnson (16-13-5, 2, 2.47). Canucks - Cloutier (33-16-7, 2, 2.42); Peter Skudra (9-5-6, 1, 2.72).

REGULAR SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 2-1-1. The teams combined for 33 goals in four games. Vancouver went 2-0-1 in the first three meetings before the Blues posted a 6-4 victory at home March 18. Morrison had four goals and six points for the Canucks.
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:58 AM   #19
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It's sad that the only thing you found good enough to highlight was one sentence... doesn't bode well for the Blues.
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Old 04-10-2003, 12:58 AM   #20
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get used to it, there will be new playoff threads almost every day for days!

they'll fall right into your baskets, I mean "catcher's glove" or "scoop"

kind of like a Brodeur save, so you be prepared to put them nice and tidy on a shelf in one place and say they dont have any merit to stand alone
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:02 AM   #21
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the Blues will be licking their anuses after tomorrow.

their's i mean, as in they
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:03 AM   #22
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actually its theirs isnt it?
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:03 AM   #23
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if in theirs you mean the canucks' wives' and/or girlfriends' anuses, than, yes, its theirs
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:08 AM   #24
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personally I trust Osgood like I trust Rumsfield. Blues might win this but it wont be pretty...
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:11 AM   #25
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osgood has had much more playoff success than cloutier. and osgood is 12-1-4 against the 'nucks. should be a cakewalk.
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:36 AM   #26
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yeah, Cloutier is poised for a breakthrough...

the five-hole that is
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:38 AM   #27
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NHL Play-Offs - ALL First Round Discussion HERE

Yep.
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:39 AM   #28
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BOOOOOOOOO
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:43 AM   #29
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BOOOOO- URRRNS
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:46 AM   #30
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excuse me, were you saying booooo or booo-urns?

booooooooooooo

i was saying boo-urns
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