The illustrious baseball career of Yogi Berra was one for the ages.He was a member of the pin stripes and World Champion NY Yankees as their stellar catcher and known for his timely hitting.When he became a manager in the Big Leagues, it was his off the wall “Yogi- isms” that kept the players, the fans and especially the press in stitches.Right now with the CBJ’s one of his memorable quotes stands apart more than any others at this time...IT IS NOT OVER TILL IT IS OVER!!
No.... it isn’t over for the CBJ who have had a strangle hold on the 6th spot in the Western Conference for the better part of a month, but the last 2 games are giving all that follow, an awkward feeling inside.The team has six games to be played...home and home with the Predators...home and home with Chicago....one more in STL and Fan Appreciation Night against Minnesota in NWA to climax the season finale.
Our record against Chicago this year is 2-2. The overall record is 23-22-4 with a home record of 14-9-2.The series this year with Nashville for the first time in a long while is one of respectability. A 5-3 win, and a Shoot Out 2-1 win are congruent with a 6-3 loss and a 4-2 loss. The home team has won 8-9 games.Between these 2 series it is a must to get a minimum of 2 wins.
The STL game is one of personal pride alone.The season series is disappointing to say the least with the Blues man handling the CBJ 4 games to 1.They play a heavy game and as Hitch says it best “they pushed us in to uncomfortable situations that we could not deal with accordingly.”The Blues are committed and playing their best hockey in the second half of the year, even with 433 man games lost...Kariya, Johnson and Brewer to name a few.
The final game of the year against Minnesota is one the CBJ would like to give to the fans of the team.They deserve it as they have been a driving force come the 3rd period for most of this season.They are dug in and cheering and pushing the envelope on CBJ hockey.The team, knowing that they trail in this series 2-1, remembers early in the year one guaranteed point that went south.Nash had a goal called back with 11 seconds left in the game....the high stick call still stands out as one point that was stolen.The last time Minnesota was in the building on January 10th, the CBJ had identical records with Minnesota. The CBJ proceeded to destroy the Wild 4-2, outshooting them 32-23.Filatov had the hat trick and things were bright and sunny in the state capital. Since that game the team has gone 19-11-4 and has not looked back until NOW!!!
It is no time to look over one’s shoulder.It is time to take care of our own business.The team must find away to regroup. They must get back to the simple structures of this team’s foundation and get back to the 3 zone checking game. It is the time for the skill game of some of the elite players to get back to the simple puck management tools that got this team in the positive state it is in today.The team needs everyone to be on the same page and respond accordingly.
Yogi says it is not over till it is over? True...but it is certainly not over until the CBJ do what they came to do and that is get down and dirty and pay the price.Don’t look back, keep the eyes focused the knees and the arms pumping and stay in your lane!!