The Blues Hogged the Puck All the Way to the Conference Finals

The Blues Hogged the Puck All the Way to the Conference Finals

St. Louis emerged victorious in a Game 7, double-overtime classic against the Stars but honestly, if it wasn’t for Ben Bishop having a career night, this one would have ended much sooner. The Blues were firing on all cylinders, getting scoring chances left and right. They even managed to outshoot the Stars 31-4 in the second and third period. That’s almost a 10-to-1 advantage! The ice just seemed tilted in their favor all night.

The zone time in particular is incredibly lopsided. The Blues just dominated the puck in the offensive zone and refused to let go, but that’s nothing new. This is something I highlighted after Game 3 and Mike Kelly broke down more in-depth before Game 7.

Sustained pressure in the offensive zone is what led to Vince Dunn’s opening goal in the first period.

That wasn’t just a one-game anomaly either. The Blues have thoroughly dominated offensive zone possession time throughout this series. Head Coach Jim Montgomery acknowledged the fact after Game 3, saying that “the Blues did a better job possessing pucks in the offensive zone”. That’s a pretty clear-cut answer and, looking at the numbers, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Dallas never came even within a minute of the Blues, only getting somewhat close in Game 1. The Stars did a good job generating offense in transition and off the rush, but the amount of pressure the Blues put on their defense and goaltender was just too much in the end.

It will be interesting to see if St. Louis can put the same pressure on the opposing team in the Conference Finals, because both of their potential opponents have strong possession game of their own. The Avalanche and Sharks ranked 1st and 10th, respectively, in offensive zone possession time during the regular season.