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One terrible decision by the Blues in Game 2 reignited a lethal Sharks power play

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Alex Steen abandoned his team at the worst moment.

Welcome to Further Review, SB Nation's in-depth video analysis of notable goals in the NHL. Hockey is a weird sport. Amazing and baffling goals tend to happen. We're here to break them down for you. If you see a particular goal you want us to examine, drop us a note at @SBNationNHL on Twitter.

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There are three good reasons to not leave your own zone when you're on the penalty kill. Every hockey player knows them well.

If your opponent has the puck in the zone, don't leave. If your bench is far away from your zone, don't leave. And if your opponent is the San Jose Sharks and your assignment is bearded, goal-scoring wonder Brent Burns, don't leave.

St. Louis Blues winger Alex Steen had some explaining to do after Game 2.


Thanks as always to Mike Darnay for drawing this up.

I could explain what's going on right now but this GIF is hilarious without context.

Bask in it. Scratch your head in confusion. Laugh. I'll wait.


OK. What exactly was Alex Steen (No. 20) doing?



So that penalty kill didn't start well. Steen loses the faceoff and breaks his stick in the process, and now the Sharks have possession and Steen is semi-helpless to break up any play.

But at least he can block shots! All is not lost yet.



Steen stays up high in the zone to block any shots in case the puck cycles up top. It doesn't, because Joe Thornton decides to rip a shot at St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott from the left circle.

It misses, rings around the boards and the Blues start to fall apart.



So now Burns collects the loose puck at the blue line, and Steen senses an opportunity. He doesn't have a stick, but he's the closest Blues player to Burns. At the very least, he can close in on him and disrupt the play. And if he doesn't get the puck out of the zone, he can always float back in and cover Burns. He just needs to stay in the zone.

Just stay in the zone, Alex.



Uh, what?

Oh, boy. He ran to the bench to get a new stick.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall of Alex Steen's brain at this moment. Did he think he knocked the puck out of the zone? Did he really think he could skate away, get a new stick and come back in time before the Sharks got a scoring chance? It's one thing if the Blues bench was near their zone. But it was the second period on home ice, so they had the long change.

The bench is too far away.

And now Brent Burns is wide open and the Sharks' league-best power play has a 5-on-3 advantage.



Shocked, I tell you. Astonished. My gast is flabbered.

So you should blame ...

Alex Steen. Duh. I'm projecting a bit here, but let's say the Blues go on to lose this series. You could look back at this play and point to it as one of the turning points of the Western Conference Final. Up until this point, the Blues had silenced San Jose's power play. They killed off all three of them in Game 1 and had killed off another one in the first period of Game 2. Maybe doubt was starting to creep in for the Sharks.

But it just takes one goal to inspire confidence. Burns scored another power play goal in the third period, and the Sharks are rolling again on special teams. St. Louis might regret the moment Steen decided to take a huge risk for the sake of a new stick.