Tied up at 2

Get some Hullie! 

Jim Rome
June 04, 2019 - 9:30 am
Brett Hull

Getty Images


I’m talking hockey, which means I need a sound, but Alvin, skip over the horn and hit me with some “Gloria!” Damn straight! After getting hammered in Game 3 and being left for dead, the blues are back!  Not dead, can’t quit.  And anyone who knows anything about this crew should have known they’d bounce back against the Bruins after that beatdown.  Because they’ve come back against everyone, from everything, all season long.  And we’ve got ourselves a series once again.

It wasn’t that long ago that St. Louis had a 2-0 lead in Game 1…and then promptly imploded, allowing 4 straight goals to lose. And the thinking was, nice run, cute story…, but let the experienced pros take over from here. And then St. Louis came back in Game 2 and out-Boston’d Boston to win in overtime and rip home ice.

The Blues were coming back home with a tied series and a city that was absolutely on fire for them. That barn was about to explode before Game 3…and the Blues gave up four straight goals to start the game and they got run out of the building 7-2.  Just another example of them having not been in this position in five decades. And looking like it.

So everything was riding on last night. They had to have it. Jon Hamm was in the building.  Hell, St. Louis blues icon Wayne Gretzky was in the building. Florida Marlins legend Mike Piazza was hyped to see Blues legend Wayne Gretzy repping the Blues last night. But perhaps most importantly, a true Blues legend was in the house: a guy who actually meant something to them. Brett Hull was in the building. And more importantly, Hullie was on the mic.

Holy crap, I thought The Golden Brett was going to lose a Golden Lung on that one. 

So if you’ve got those fans, and that scream, behind you, there is no way you’re not ready when the puck drops. No way you come out flat. And back on your heels. And the Blues sure as hell didn’t. And look nothing like the crew the hit the ice in Game 3. 

You know the best way to respond to a 7-2 curbstomping at home? By doing this 43 seconds into the next game.

Ryan O’Reilly on the wraparound. But that start wasn’t just about the goal, it was about the hits. They had 11 inside the first 6 minutes and 10 seconds. The refs were letting them play, and the blues made it clear, if they were going down, the B’s were getting the hands.   

Then Boston tied it just over 13 minutes into the first. But St. Louis responded with this with Vladimir Tarasenko finding the back of the net.

2-1, they bounce back. They’re back in front. And then things got ugly in the second. And by ugly, I mean Zdeno Chara taking a shot to the face… tough as big dude is, I thought my man my bleed out right there on the ice: Check the bucket of blood dude pours on the ice:

And yes, I know, hockey fans – hockey players are the toughest guys on the planet. I don’t need you to come in here and tell me that. I love hockey. And I don’t need hockey fans to come flying over the boards every time a player deals with an injury to tell me how tough they are. I already know it. Your brand is not on the line, not with me.

And Chara is one of the toughest dudes on the planet. Because he skated off, spitting blood on the ice, went to the dressing room, slapped a fish bowl on his face and came back to the bench.

No, he didn’t get back into the game, but you have to believe that wasn’t his choice...in fact, just returning to the bench to support his dude’s shows a serious level of bad assery.  If that’s me and my face has just been smashed like that, I’m getting the docs to hit me with some horse tranqs and I’m seeing you all in Boston. Or maybe never again. Or I’m still lying the ice even as well speak. 

But not Chara. According to teammate Brandon Carlo, Chara couldn’t speak, but he still wanted to be there: "Obviously his mouth has some blood and I don't know what's going on in there, but he can barely talk and he's out there supporting us.”

So yes, that was tough as hell. So tough that I will overlook the fact that Tarasenko went with one of the all-time great flops last night in a move that wasn’t exactly tough as hell.

That was almost as bad as what happened for the Blues in the second period. No, the Bruins didn’t blitz again on the power play like they did in Game 3, when they had four power play goals, on four power plays on four shots. They didn’t do that. But they did get a shortie against them, to tie the game up at 2. Which is just as bad. There’s not more demoralizing than that: That’s the kind of thing that sucks the life out of a building and gives a veteran team like Boston the momentum they need to steal the game, put the final nail in the coffin and rip that series.

But this is the NOT DEAD, CAN’T QUIT, ST. LOUIS BLUES WE’RE TALKING ABOUT: ice zombies: you can’t kill these guys. Nor was that city going to have any of it.  It was like 18 thousand screaming Brett Hull’s going in on 20 dudes in black and yellow.  How the hell are you going to win the fight if you’re the bruins? Answer: You’re not. 

And who was there with the dagger? None other than the guy who got it all started: Ryan O’Reilly:

That was perfect. Attacking the net with speed, looking for the rebound, and then absolutely burying it. Textbook hockey. Textbook Blues hockey.

St. Louis added an empty-netter and now it’s going back to Boston tied up at 2. And here is a fired up, carefully edited game summary, from their head coach in the dressing room.

Let's bleeping enjoy for it for a little bit and then we end it and get going.

And the question is: how will St. Louis deal with that success? We know their game can travel. We know they can win in Boston. They can easily be coming back to St. Louis for Game 6 with a 3-2 lead and a chance to win the Cup at home.

But these Blues have always been best with their backs against the wall. All season long, their best has come out when everyone’s counted them out. Can they do it when the series is tied? Can they get it done Thursday night and bring it back to St. Louis on Sunday? That would be awesome. Because as good as this Final has been and as much as I want it to go 15 games, I cannot imagine what that city would be like all weekend with a chance to win the Cup at home.

Something tells me Brett Hull can find a few more decibels if they need him. Get some Hullie!