Blues lose in Vancouver. Comparing the Rams present receiving corp while wishing for another. Jim Valvano, and the biggest concern losing SJ39.
If I told you the Blues outshot Vancouver 15-to-3 in period one, 13-to-2 in period three, had three power plays, more faceoff wins, hits, and takeaways, one might think the Note came out victorious Tuesday night.
Instead, the 2nd period happened.
The Canucks pinned St. Louis for twenty minutes, out shooting the Blues 14-6 during the disastrous period.
Most concerning is the ridiculous power play drop-off. Once 1st in the NHL at an absurd high has fallen back to earth thanks to a 4-for-43 slump. The Blues had two unsuccessful PP’s in the 1st period giving momentum to Vancouver heading into the intermission.
Jaden Schwartz scored at 5:46 in the 3rd period to begin the comeback. Patrik Berglund netted his 14th at 13:38, but the Blues ran out of time. A ridiculous boarding penalty on Vladimir Sobotka at 16:54 left the Blues a man short for two of the last three minutes. Silly NHL officiating, Trix are for kids.
I’m not going to bash the Blues. They came off a successful three-win home stand and ran into a desperate Canucks bunch. The 1st period chances weren’t rewarded, and it fueled a three goal 2nd period.
Lazy icing dumps led to defensive breakdowns and the team that played a 20-minute hockey game stole one.
When the home team gives you lemons (two 1st period PP’s), you say F the lemons and score two goals.
5 Quick Takes
ALSO READ DEBUNKING SLU AS THE “SLEEPER”
1. Since when did Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson turn into Randy Moss and Jerry Rice? They were good, they helped contribute last season — but by no means are they worth the money Miami and New England shelled out. Gibson’s 108 yards after the catch were an absurd 167th in the NFL last season. He has just one 100-yard game in 54 career contests.
Austin Pettis (4) had more touchdowns than Amendola (3) in 2012. Chris Givens racked up three scores and 25 first downs on 42 receptions, including five straight weeks with a catch over 50 yards as he developed in year one. Brian Quick learned route running while flashing potential with two spectacular TD grabs.
One fascinating stat: 43 of Gibson’s 51 receptions were first downs.
These young receivers will develop and surpass the production lost.
2. Draft Tavon Austin, WVU. A four-year player for the Mountaineers, Austin’s versatility as a running back turned receiver put him on the big play watch. Austin averaged 11.9 yards per catch over four seasons recording a combined 39 scores (receiving, rushing, returns).
Austin ran a blazing 4.34 40-yard dash saying,
“If we all lined up and raced I think I’d come out on top but I’m not really a 40 type of guy. I’m a game type of guy. A lot of teams are looking for the type of player who can do multiple things on the field, and I think I can be that guy. I think I’m the all-around best player in the draft.”
He’s 20 pounds lighter than Percy Harvin, and more comparable to DeSean Jackson — but his versatility would be a much-needed offensive weapon.
In 2012, Austin had TD scores (yards) of 75, 52, 45, 44, 43, 40, 34, 24 … Austin, Givens, Quick and Pettis? Let’s go.
3. The Tennessee Titans swooped up former guard/center Rob Turner on Tuesday. Turner was a versatile player who got exposed when the offensive line was hit with a myriad of injuries. The Rams wanted to re-sign him as a backup, but he has a shot to start with Tennessee.
4. Apparently Shelby Miller missed the “rotation closed” sign, and because he’s pitched so well — Mike Matheny reopened the competition. Miller allowed one hit while striking out three in four scoreless innings. Joe Kelly gave up eight hits and four earned over three innings. Quite frankly, the Cardinals will need anyone and everyone in 2013; injuries, ineffectiveness, fatigue — it’s inevitable.
5. Watch ESPN’s 30-for-30 Survive and Advance on Jim Valvano and N.C. State’s run in 1983. What an inspiring, unbelievable season. Valvano’s intense story paired with the Wolfpack’s adversity that season — just epic stuff.
I’ll eventually have a larger piece out dedicated to Steven Jackson and his nine seasons in St. Louis. But in the meantime, chew on this: who in the current RB group (Pead, Richardson, Ganaway) will pick up blocks like SJ39 did on Patrick Willis on this huge play Week 10 at SF? That’s my biggest concern.
Thanks for reading folks.