Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Games 6, Blues at Kings - Recap: Losing Still Sucks

May 11, 2013, 1:27 AM ET [62 Comments]
Chip McCleary
St Louis Blues Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
This will have a short game recap; it really doesn't need to be that long.

First off, congrats to the Los Angeles Kings for winning the series. They showed exactly why they're more than up to the task of defending the Cup, and that they're going to be incredibly dangerous for anyone that happens to draw them going forward. Given a chance to fold after going down 0-2 on the road, guys across the board raised their game to a level that defines what a championship team looks like. It was a tough, physical series - but it was clean, there were no "the officiating screwed us" moments, ... and you could tell there was a hell of a lot of respect going around - not just between the Blues and Kings players, but between the Blues and Kings fans that chatted in my entries here.

Good luck the rest of the way - and if (when) you get Chicago in the conference finals, do us a favor and beat the hell out of them every chance you get, knock them out of the playoffs too, and go to the Finals and make everyone in the West proud again.


For the Blues? Well, the title says it all. It sucks to lose in the postseason, period. Granted, I didn't think we had a team built to win the Cup this year - hell, I thought getting back to the 2nd round would have been pretty good, and the conference finals would have been a minor miracle - but that doesn't make losing the final game any easier.

Lots of missed opportunities, lots of "damn it, why did that mistake end up in the back of our net?" moments, and lots of "if only ...." thoughts that, if they played out, might have resulted in a different outcome. However, I don't like playing the "what if?" game because it tends to lead to wild assumptions that make any conclusion possible, no matter how far-fetched. It's why I like sticking to "what is" and going from there.


To the game itself: it all really boils down to a goal scored with 0.2 seconds to play in the 2nd period, and who (who all?) you think the blame falls on for that. Backes, Stewart, McDonald, Polak, Elliott, ... it would be easy to single out any collection of them, or all but McDonald solely for that goal - but however you want to lay blame, it was a back-breaking goal and changed the entire scope of the 3rd period for the Blues. Instead of hanging in there 1-1 with 20 to play and both teams knowing "we have to score, but so do they" it become "we have to score or else" and the Kings knew they could lock down on defense and Quick would slam the door shut if required. I'll let everyone else debate that - but again, in the end it doesn't matter.

I thought the effort was about as good as Wednesday night - which is to say I think we were at about 80% of where we needed to be. The Blues had good pressure at times, and then just stopped and let the Kings regroup and recover. Sure, there were unlucky (bad?) goals against - but great teams rebound and keep fighting away, and find a way to win. The Blues didn't do that. I think they played somewhat desperate, but there wasn't a plan for what to do on offense much of the time other than "throw it at the net, hope for a miracle." It worked on occasion, but you simply cannot keep relying on miracles to get you through the playoffs.

6 games, 10 goals - that's the real story. The Blues didn't get enough goals to put pressure on the Kings, they didn't protect leads well enough when they had the chance (see: Game 4) and in the end it cost them a chance to advance in the postseason. I'm sure we'll find out in the coming days about injuries and such, and I can say from listening to XM Radio this afternoon there was a rumor about Backes having the flu and maybe that affecting a couple other guys in and around the locker room - but again, it's not an excuse. The Blues had a chance to win this series and didn't; the Kings had a chance to win this series and seized it, and are moving on as a result - and in the end, that's all that matters.


I won't be doing a post-mortem on the season just yet. Sure, it would be easy to do now - but emotions are still raw, it's easy to fixate on the bad and skip over the good, you look at "what should we do?" and the easy knee-jerk reaction is something like "clear house," ... I want a little bit to think seriously about this so it's a more-informed explanation and a better plan. Certainly, I'll be reading comments and looking to see what others have to say, but I want to avoid just parroting the consensus view.

In the meantime, I'll probably comment on whatever news comes out from the Blues as the season-ending meetings take place - but it will be a focus on the playoffs and other stuff going on around the league until we get closer to the draft. From there, I'll kick around what to do there, what the plan should be for free agency, and whatever else happens. A week from now, 10 days from now? I'll probably be ready to write a recap and feel good about it.

It was a good season, and sure we got to the playoffs as a 4-seed after threatening to implode with a month to play - but it didn't end up where we all wanted it to. Hopefully one of these says, it will finally be our turn to shine in the spotlight ... but we'll have to wait another year for that chance.
Join the Discussion: » 62 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Chip McCleary
» Game 6, Blues at Kings - GDT: Win or Done
» Game 5, Blues/Kings - Recap: When you lose at home, you're in trouble ...
» Game 5, Blues vs. Kings - GDT: Moment of Truth
» Game 4: Blues/Kings - Recap: School Was In Session
» Game 4, Blues at Kings - GDT (Now with extra Tarasenko!)