Suddenly hot Blues pull a Moms’ trip sweep with a win over Chicago

CHICAGO – Ivan Barbashev was in the midst of a solution about how the born-again Blues have been preventing for victories recently when he may hear it via the locker room partitions at United Center.

“Country roads, take me dwelling. To the place, I belong. West Virginia. …”

“Oh boy,” Barbashev mentioned, shaking his head.

Yes, it was the Blues’ moms, ecstatic after sweeping their two-game Moms’ trip, singing, you realize, that tune. Barbashev’s mom, Marina, speaks little or no English, so do you assume she was singing alongside?

“I feel so,” Barbashev mentioned. “I feel she had a couple drinks, too, so she’s in all probability doing rather well.”

We’re not going to offer the moms full credit score for his or her sons’ three-game street sweep. After all, they weren’t round for the primary recreation, Saturday in Las Vegas. But they deserve no less than some kudos for Monday’s thrilling win in Colorado and Wednesday’s 5-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

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Between the meals and the cardboard video games and the camaraderie — and, apparently, the drinks — they watched the Blues stretch their total successful streak to 4 video games.

A bit greater than a week in the past, issues seemed as bleak as they have been in years, with the Blues dropping a franchise-record eighth consecutive recreation — and looking out dangerous, very dangerous, within the course of. But glad days are right here once more.

Make no mistake, the Blues nonetheless have work to do with a purpose to dig out of their gap. But they’re now 7-8-0 and now not in final place within the Central Division. They may get again to sea degree once they return dwelling for Thursday’s contest with the Washington Capitals to finish this set of back-to-back video games.

“We’re simply enjoying higher hockey,” mentioned Blues defenseman Nick Leddy, a former Blackhawk. “You lookup and down the lineup, I feel we’re doing a lot of the appropriate issues. And it is paying off.

“The confidence is right here now. As we talked about (in Philadelphia), it was solely a matter of time. We simply needed to get that one below our belt after which we began to roll with it. So hopefully we will maintain that going.”

Barbashev, Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly every had one purpose and one help in opposition to the Blackhawks (6-7-3). Yes, Barbashev managed to attain a purpose with out his private talisman — St. Louis actor Jon Hamm — watching the sport in particular person.

“He in all probability was watching the sport,” Barbashev mentioned. “I imply, each time he comes, I all the time rating. So it will be good if he comes each recreation. But I assume not. I scored right this moment with out him, so it’s what it’s.”

Defenseman Calle Rosen scored the sport’s first purpose on an help from Josh Leivo. Rosen has scored twice in the course of the four-game successful streak.

Rosen from Leivo. How many Blues followers thought they’d be listening to that initially of the season?

Or for that matter: Goal by Pitlick.

Tyler Pitlick, who was in coaching camp on a tryout foundation, scored his first purpose as a member of the Blues. On an help from rookie Nikita Alexandrov — his first level as an NHL participant.

“We’re enjoying good hockey and discovering a approach to get some objectives,” coach Craig Berube mentioned. “We’ve been strong throughout. I believed ‘Binner’ (goalie Jordan Binnington) was good once more. I believed we defended properly. At the identical time, we’re performing some great things within the offensive zone and discovering some objectives.”

The 5 objectives Wednesday matched the Blues’ season excessive, established beforehand within the season opener in opposition to Columbus and final week in opposition to San Jose within the recreation that began the present successful streak. They had sufficient high quality possibilities that they may’ve simply scored twice that many in opposition to 23-year-old Chicago goalie Arvid Soderblom, making simply his seventh NHL begin

As for Binnington, he stopped 25 of 27 pictures. He has a 2.25 goals-against common and a .936 save share over the 4 video games. His spotlight purpose got here seven minutes into the sport. On a two-on-one rush by Chicago, he stretched to the restrict over to his left, making a glove save on Taylor Raddysh.

And talking of rookies, defenseman Tyler Tucker made his Blues debut rather than an injured Colton Parayko.

“I believed he was glorious,” Berube mentioned. “Gaps had been good. Physical. Closing performs out. Making puck performs. Keep it easy. Did a actual good job.”

Parayko, with an undisclosed damage, didn’t participate within the morning skate. So Tucker knew he had a probability to make his NHL debut within the morning. (He put his mother and father on alert again in Ontario, telling them it was 50-50.) Parayko and Tucker each got here out for pregame warmups, however Parayko rapidly left the ice unable to go.

About halfway via warmups, Tucker bought the phrase. He was within the lineup, in opposition to the rival Blackhawks, at some of the thrilling venues within the league. Gulp.

“Quite a approach to discover out however glad to be in there enjoying,” Tucker mentioned.

So what went via his thoughts at that second?

“Just end warming up,” Tucker mentioned. “Make it out of there. Come again, regroup and play.”

A easy reply for a D-man who performs a easy, direct recreation. Tucker performed a modest 11:05 — 18 shifts — and his stat line included one shot on purpose, one hit, one blocked shot and one temporary shoving match with Chicago’s Sam Lafferty.

Yes, Tucker’s bought a little sandpaper in his recreation.

“Yeah, a part of my recreation,” Tucker mentioned with a shrug.

If Parayko wasn’t capable of play Wednesday, the percentages of him magically feeling higher Thursday for the Capitals are in all probability slim.

So we may see Tucker once more. Because of the last-minute nature of his enjoying project, Tucker did not get the standard rookie lap popping out for pregame warmup. Perhaps he can get a particular exemption and get to take a lap at Enterprise if he performs Thursday.

“We’ll see. If my helmet’s not there, then I do know I’m doing a rookie lap,” he mentioned, with a snort.


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