Blues must make historic comeback to beat Canucks
St. Louis has come back from 2-0 down just once
His name is Jacques Caron, and for most of Marty Brodeur's stellar career he's been the New Jersey star's goaltending coach.
Before that, however, he had a hard-working National Hockey League career that included a moment of glory — leading the St. Louis Blues back from a 2-0 series deficit to the Minnesota North Stars in the spring of 1972.
That first round seven-gamer happens to be the last time the Blues were able to overcome such a deficit — one they find themselves in with the Vancouver Canucks in town for a Sunday night Western Conference quarter-final showdown.
This time, St. Louis turns to young Chris Mason to lead the way from the back. And that's all very good, except for what's facing the Blues at the other end.
Canucks captain Roberto Luongo has the two wins in the series, one goal given up, 55 shots stopped and a happy, happy frame of mind.
"I feel great," the Canucks' goalie said after Game 2. "I'm seeing the puck well and guys are doing a great job in front of me so I can see the puck.
"And sometimes when you don't see it, it hits you. It's nice to know sometimes the puck bounces your way like that."
The Blues need to find a way to get Luongo off his game.
Hooting and hollering
And they might be thinking a loud, proud building, welcoming home a club that was dead at the all-star break but put on a huge run to grab a first playoff spot in five years, can turn the tide.
Perhaps some hooting and hollering will throw the Vancouver goaltender off. Or not.
"That's the type of stuff that I enjoy, going into buildings where it's not the greatest atmosphere for the visiting team," Luongo said before the series began.
"That's the best part of hockey. I almost enjoy that more than playing home games."
St. Louis went 9-1-1 to finish out and was putting the puck in the net with regularity. But so far in the post-season, the Blues just can't get the disc past the Canucks' captain, despite a lot of chances.
Included were four posts or crossbars hit in Game 2.
'We need to be better'
"Obviously, when you don't score that means [Luongo] sees too many pucks," said Blues' coach Andy Murray, who wants to get a little more traffic in front of the Vancouver goal.
"There's not many pucks he won't stop if he sees them, so we need to be better."
Murray is hoping the home crowd can spur his youngsters on, especially since they've played pretty well over the first 120 minutes of this series.
In Game 2, Vancouver scored on a tip in out of the air, a wrap around and into an empty net. The opening match was decided by a power play goal and a big shot from the point.
That means Mason is playing well, too — sort of like Caron, all those years ago.
But without any goals of their own, the Blues will be heading for one of those summers where players feel good about themselves for the regular season, but the playoff leaves a bitter aftertaste.
With files from The Associated Press