Losing by one goal four times in a row makes a team wonder what went wrong. The St. Louis Blues were so close, yet so far away from dethroning the Los Angeles Kings. The Blues once again had for the grit, determination, the push, the effort and everything that comes with winning a playoff series. But the most glaring aspect in their six-game loss to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs: a lack of finishing ability. The Blues scored 10 goals in a Western Conference Quarterfinal series that was there for them, especially after winning the first two games. But the inability to score on high-end opportunities and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's ability to turn aside all other opportunities had the Blues thinking what more could they have done. "I think that's probably the story of the series," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I would say for us missed opportunities. We had a lot of people play very hard ... didn't get timely goals. That's what playoffs is. Goaltending's a big part of it. I thought the best player in the series was their goalie. In the end, he made the big saves when we had the five or six close-in chances today. He made the big saves." Patrik Berglund, who had one goal in the series, said a case in point was his breakaway opportunity on Quick in the third period with the Blues down a goal. He had a chance to tie the game, only to be thwarted by Quick and fire wide on the rebound. It was the story of the series for the Blues, who got seven goals from their top nine players -- but take away Alexander Steen (three) and T.J. Oshie (two) and the Blues got next to nothing from the guys they expect to score. "I wanted to take one step and go five-hole," Berglund said of his attempt. "I just picked up the puck pretty quick. ... I wanted to trick him a little bit and take a quick shot. He saved it, the puck was there again and I missed the net. "I think we deserved better than this. I think we battled really hard, played really hard. We had all the chances in the world to score more goals than they did. At this time, it really stings because I think we were right there. We expected to get past this round." The Blues were a popular pick to come out of the Western Conference and compete for a Stanley Cup this season after being eliminated by the Kings in the conference semifinals a season ago. But this step back will make the plane ride back to St. Louis and the upcoming summer a long one for the Blues after another failure to produce in the postseason.
Blues lament what might have been
NHL.com | May 11