The first few minutes of an NHL game can set the tone for a game, good or bad. This is certainly the case when it comes to the Blues and the Kings, who know each other so well after facing off time and time again over the last few years, in both the regular season and the postseason.
Which Blues team will we see early tonight at Scottrade Center? Will it be the team that controlled the entire game against LA a few weeks ago, or the shaky team that didn’t put their foot on Phoenix’s throat on Tuesday?
I was intrigued by what Drew Doughty of the Kings told me this morning when I asked about the early portion of games between these two rivals.
“The first five minutes, we know exactly what this team’s going to do at home,” Doughty told me.
“They don’t do it as much on the road, but when they’re at home, they use the crowd to get going. The first five minutes, you’re going to get banged. They’re going to throw 30 hits at you in the first five minutes.
“If you can get past that first five, not let them create any momentum and pick apart their forecheck, then after that they settle down a little bit.
“It’s something we all are aware of, we’ve dealt with it so many times the last few years, and it’s something we look forward to.
“If we can beat that first five minutes, then we’re looking good.”
Who will win the battle of the first five minutes? We’ll find out in a few hours.