The drama and emotion of their 7-game series win vs. the Blackhawks is still fresh for the Blues, and certainly Blues fans, but the time to dwell on that success is over with the top-seeded Dallas Stars on deck beginning Friday in the Lone Star State. The Blackhawks were just part 1, in what the Blues hope is a 4-part saga that ends with the Stanley Cup, but there is plenty the ‘Note can take away from that series moving forward.
“It was a real key stepping stone,” said veteran Steve Ott Wednesday morning at the Scottrade Center. “Now moving forward to Round 2, guys are prepared.”
Veterans like Ott, David Backes, and Alex Pietrangelo were maybe more known commodities heading into the playoffs. What you see is what you get. It was youngsters like Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko that brought energy and tantalizing skill to the ice, but maybe uncertainty about how they’d perform as the intensity is ratcheted up the playoffs. Those questions have been answered now.
“Parayko, his goal in the 1st period(of game 7) was huge for a young guy to come through like that,” beamed Brian Elliot. It was Parayko’s 2nd goal of the playoffs so far. Fabbri added 1 goal vs. Chicago, to go along with 4 assists in the seven game series.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock knows things do not get any easier however, with the Dallas Stars. “We’re gonna have to be even better than we were against Chicago if we expect to win,” explained Hitchcock. He wouldn’t name any names, but Hitchcock alluded to a few players he believes can raise the level of their game in the next round.
“Quite frankly, I think we got more in us, too,” said Hitchcock.
The Stars are installed as the Game 1 favorite (-120) out of Vegas, but smart money right now is on another emotional, physical series to claim a spot in the Conference Finals. A fair question now: how much more emotion do the Blues have left to set forth.