The Saint Louis Blues are the fourth team so far this year to be removed from Stanley Cup contention. They drop four straight games to the returning champion LA Kings. It’s the second straight year for the Kings to have dispatched the higher seed Blues. After an early 2-0 lead, the Kings dug down deep to find that same drive that propelled them to Stanley Cup last year.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock lamented on the end of the season in a post game podcast
The Blues have been a consistently good team, but the problem with Saint Louis is they have never been exceptional. The LA Kings on the other hand, have been playing these last few seasons like their lives have been on the line. Tke Kings goalie, Jonathan Quick has had himself an outstanding post season. His save percentage and goals against average are both in the top three, and Quick is making a case for the Conn Smythe.
The final score of the series was kind of fitting for LA. Dustin Penner scored on a one-timer with .2 seconds remaining in the second period. The Kings have been an excellent team all season, but every once in a while they have that flash of brilliance that pushes them above the competition. It will be interesting to see how well they fare in the second round.
The Blues will have to have go back to the drawing board again. While they’ve got a solid team, and an excellent coaching staff, it will be up to Governor Tom Stillman to see what special spark is missing. The Blues have the ability to be perennial Cup contenders. It’s just a matter of time for them. Can they do what the Boston Bruins did? Can they find themselves a system that will give them that push to the next level.