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  • Letters to Gordo

    Letters to Gordo: Fans disgusted by Blues (and refs)


    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    04/12/2004


    As you can imagine, Blues Nation is none too pleased with our Boys of Winter. They fell into an 0-2 hole in their best-of-seven playoff series with the San Jose Sharks. They have struggled to score goals and their loss of composure in Game 2 proved decisive.

    Naturally, hockey is the ideal topic for this edition of "Letters to Gordo." Let the people vent:


    * * *


    "Why in the world would anyone have hope for this St. Louis Blues Team? Hello, duh, it's the playoffs, and these are the Blues. They were lucky to get into the playoffs in the first place. One wonders if they were just trying to make the playoffs to continue the "streak." Now that they're in, they can relax and put it in cruise control, and lose like they do every year. The lockout can't come soon enough . . ."

    -- Lon Broske


    GORDO: The Blues earned their playoff berth by playing hard and playing smart down the stretch. They can battle back into this playoff series by doing the same. But their Game 2 implosion made an already confident San Jose feel that much better about its chances in this series. The Blues must find a way to puncture that confidence in Game 3. The Blues not only must win, they must win decisively to get back in this series.


    * * *

    "I saw your article on Game 2. I'm sorry, but did you actually WATCH the game? I'm not the biggest Blues fan in the world, even though I live in St. Louis, but they got totally screwed over on penalties. Just one example -- Chris Pronger takes a stick in the face, no call, he complains, he gets a penalty. Come on, the refs had it in for the Blues that day. How did you feel about the 'goalie interference' call on the Avs the other night?? Please. I feel some unfairness, anyway, in how the refs officiate during the playoffs, and always have. All games lead up to the playoffs; no game should be more or less important than any other game."

    -- Bonnie Linville


    GORDO: Yes, the referees burned the Blues with some bogus calls and some glaring no-calls. But these things will happen in playoff hockey, just like injuries occur, just as the puck takes some strange and untimely bounces. The Hockey Gods can be cruel, indeed. And the refs can be inept. But a veteran team like the Blues has to play through such adversity -- especially on the road, especially after losing Game 1. Once a road team starts throwing a fit over blown calls, it invites the refs to pile on a bit. Which seemed to be the case in Game 2.

    As for calling games the same in the playoffs as they are called in the regular season, it's not going to happen. In this case, the refs went overboard trying to meet a league mandate to do just that. But by the end of this series and every other series, the refs will be letting the boys play. You watch.


    * * *

    "This is the most undisciplined team I have ever watched. Taking stupid penalties behind the play and chirping at the refs. How can a team expect to stay in a game being in the box for more than half the game? The Blues' undisciplined style has caught up to them. But this time it was the Sharks not choosing to retaliate. How many times did the announcers on ABC say 'it's easy to get under the Blues skin.' It was like watching a train wreck!

    "New playoff season, same story, high-priced players do not respond: a.k.a. Mr. October, Pavol Demitra. If only we could clone the desire of Dallas Drake for each of our players. Mike Kitchen should sit these crybabies and just play the grinders, might as well, we we're killing a penalty the entire game anyway."

    -- Bill Grant


    GORDO: Yeah, it's tough to score goals playing shorthanded. The Blues managed to do it once in Game 2, but the offense is going to suffer playing four against five. The first step toward busting out in Game 3 is to stay out of the penalty box. As we've said over and over, the Blues' best players have to be their best players. That means Pronger and Keith Tkachuk have to stay on the ice and, yes, Demitra has got to get busy.


    * * *

    "I don't want to hear anyone complain about Pronger's lack of discipline. He was a marked man this afternoon. A double minor for high-sticking a guy whose face was at the level of his thigh? A minor for complaining about a poor missed call? Pronger controlled his emotions after realizing how ludicrous the refs were going to be, with no penalties for the rest of the game until the refs decided that talking would be an infraction again at the end when it didn't matter.

    "What is more concerning is the lack of heart from Tkachuk, Demitra and Doug Weight, our team's financial burden. Tkachuk with stupid penalties, Demitra literally disappearing for the entire game, and Weight refusing to shoot high on his numerous scoring chances (notice where his goal was located?). Then with Petr Cajanek and Eric Weinrich both opening themselves to monstrous hits by keeping their heads down. I've been a Blues fan for 20 years. I'll be a Blues fan for life, regardless of all my conspiracy theories (honestly, has any other team been punished by the league as much as the Blues? Five first-round draft picks? Come on!). But I can't wait for this team to get a facelift back to the days of Sutter and Federko and Cavallini, where a ticket guaranteed 60 minutes of hard work by the players. The half-effort by this team is a direct extension of a half-effort from the coaches, management, and our missing owner."

    -- Tiong Han Tjoeng


    GORDO: Don't blame Bill Laurie for this loss. He invested nearly $60 million in payroll for this team. He gave this group of veterans one more shot to win. This highly talented talent core can't blame this loss on the loss of Cory Stillman and Martin Rucinsky in the offseason. The Blues have enough to win this series, even without injured defensemen Al MacInnis and Barret Jackman. Pronger and Co. have to forget about the officiating and play at the highest possible level shift after shift after shift.

    Official Lounge Sponsor of Lou Brock (really) and Ryan Franklin (really)*

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  • #2
    They're not real Blues fans.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JWB@Apr 12 2004, 05:33 PM
      They're not real Blues fans.
      They aren't....just a big bunch of negative meanies....

      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

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