It was a night of important rebounds for the Blues -- two of them, to be exact.
The first is relatively easy to spot, as the team rebounded from their first loss of the season, a tough 3-2 defeat by the Blackhawks in Chicago, by beating the Nashville Predators last night 3-0. Back home at the Scottrade Center, the Blues looked almost frighteningly good, pushing a very Nashville club around the ice, imposing their collective will from beginning to end. (Particularly the beginning, as the Note outshot the Predators 9-3 in the first period.) Nashville did try to rally in the third, but even then the Blues never panicked, never got rattled, and kept the pressure on.
Admittedly, a one game losing streak isn't the most impressive thing to rebound from, but even so, it was mightily encouraging to see the Blues come back strong, after a back to back, after a loss, after continued proof the United Center should just be razed immediately and put on one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
The other rebound was a little more meaningful, even if it still wasn't exactly Comeback Player of the Year award material.
Jaroslav Halak had a rough night the second game of the season. In fact, it was a rough enough evening he actually got pulled, an experience which I can't imagine is ever anything but a blow to a goalie's pride. He allowed three goals on just eleven shots in that contest, a game the Blues ultimately won in a shootout against -- who else? -- the Nashville Predators. Brian Elliott got the win in relief, then took his starting turn the next night in Chicago.
To see Halak rebound in such remarkable fashion, shutting out the team he struggled against last time out, was huge. Goalies, like closers in baseball, are supposed to have the shortest of memories -- to be able to give up the big hit or give up a couple soft goals and get pulled early then come back out the next night and still believe in their own invincibility. But it's a skill, or maybe a quality, not all players possess, and to see it on display last night in such quantities was a beautiful thing.
It hasn't always been the easiest thing for Jaro to do, either; his tendency since coming to St. Louis has seemingly been to group his tough outings together, to struggle in streaks, as if he gets into a funk and then has a hard time pulling himself out of the tailspin. No funk here, though; only his second shutout of the season and a big win for the team.
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