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And then there were 13: Blues eliminated

Apr 27, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

Jonathan Toews, Ryan Miller AP

For more entries in this series, click here.

Blame it on some fantastic competition in the Western Conference or not, but the St. Louis Blues must have an empty feeling after dropping four straight games to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 in their first round series. Let’s take a brief look back at their season.

  • Here’s the synopsis before we get into the details: the Blues enjoyed another exceptional regular season only to fall in the first round for the second season in a row.
  • Some won’t care about context, but they lost to the eventual champions in 2012 in the semifinals, those same Los Angeles Kings who were defending champions in 2013 and the current defending champion Blackhawks. Maybe that earns a little leeway?
  • The Blues lost 10 of their last 12 games and gave up a 2-0 series lead. Fair or not, there will be some who will throw around the word “chokers.”
  • After being patient with Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott, the Blues bet big on Ryan Miller. While he started off hot after that trade, the ultimate result was mediocre results in the regular season (10-8-1 with a .903 save percentage) and a pretty poor finish. The Blues out-played the ‘Hawks heavily yet Corey Crawford topped Miller in Game 6.
  • This is probably bad news for the Buffalo Sabres, too, as they lose out on a first-round pick under most circumstances. (Read more about the in’s and out’s of that here.)
  • The Blues were a dominant team for much of the season, but they sagged heading into the playoffs thanks to injuries and other concerns. PHT asked if the Blues could get back on track and the answer appeared to be “No.”
  • There are plenty of questions about where the team should go from here. Ken Hitchcock isn’t getting any younger, which has to be a consideration even for a head coach. Most obviously, the biggest question is in net; Miller may opt for a team like the Anaheim Ducks while Brian Elliott is an unrestricted free agent. Where do they go from here?
  • Much of the Blues’ core is in place and is fairly young, so GM Doug Armstrong may lean toward tweaking his setup rather than blowing everything up (especially after signing Alexander Steen to a big extension).

  1. canucks30 - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    The Blues lost in the Second Round (Conference Semi-Finals) in 2012.

    NOT the First Round (Conference Quarter-Finals).

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      I remember that year. They stopped calling all the obstruction and grabbing halfway through the year and the Coyotes, Predators, Blues and Kings made the second round.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        Good reality check – and you could also add cheap shots to key oposition players

  2. jpat2424 - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Somebody tell Backes the series is over.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Not cool.

  3. canucks30 - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Hoping we see Avalanchs vs Blackhawks in Round 2.

    Maybe we’ll get something that tops this:

    or this:

    • prd797 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      You certainly had plenty of extra time to find a golf course with great wi-fi, huh?

      • canucks30 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:13 PM

        I don’t golf.

        I do watch as many playoff games as I can though. Regardless of did the Canucks are playing or not.

  4. hockeyornothing - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Go H A W K S !!!!!

  5. arlingtonrob - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    The Blues outplayed the Hawks in the 2nd period of game 6 (penalties, penalties and more penalties), but the PK saved the Hawks bacon…

    First period was even and the third was all Hawks…

    But by all means, keep telling us that the Blues outplayed the Hawks in game 6…it’s only true if you didn’t watch the game.

  6. docboss - Apr 27, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Blues are soft. Their young players think they are “rock stars”. No responsibility. They may be competitive for a couple of years but they lack “grit”. Good ownership, good coaching staff, nonchalant culture in the locker room. Maybe a trade of one of the rockstars to Ottawa would wake them up.

    • soro17 - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      I mostly agree. Backes, Oshie, etc. think they are better than they are. They haven’t won anything in the NHL or internationally. They think they are 9/10 players when they are really 6/10 or 7/10 players. You would think a vet like Morrow might be able to straighten these guys out, but alas. The biggest problem I see with them is Hitch, you can’t win in today’s NHL with him. He is too conservative and his teams have to execute the game plan to perfection to win. There is no room for error. The Blues record was massively inflated by their dominance in the shootout, which unfortunately doesn’t translate to the playoffs. Plus, Bouwmeester is a born loser, loses everywhere he goes (except when he is a meaningless add-on to the Canadian Olympic team).

  7. dontbsuchapuss - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Blues suck get over it time to move on

  8. chiadam - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    On to the next one. Go Hawks!

  9. Hard to BeLeaf - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Good Luck in round two Hawks!

    • endusersolutions2013 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      You’re posting a clip from a profoundly gender confused/femanized guy who’s chromosones are 100% male, to players in a sport where the players actually play like they are seriously male?

      Not a good/relevent analogy

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        Here’s one for the Hawks if you’re jealous. Any problems with Freddy Mercury?


        :D

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:06 AM

        Wow, Enduser, your apparent ignorance on the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity is stunning. Sir Elton John is clearly a lot less confused than anyone who would say such silly things as you did. Sooner or later a 100% male gay NHL player will step forward and I can only imagine how confused folks like you will be then. Smelling salts!!!

  10. dontbsuchapuss - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    The big question is why not pull miller when he let three in. If the series was a must win you do what is needed to ignite the team

  11. nightfireop - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    darn, and i was actually rooting for the blues too….. :-\

  12. slysipops - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    well i guess the BLUES fans can stop whining about penalties now. the refs did their best for you in the second period, and thank GOD it didn’t work ! GO HAWKS GO ! keep the pedal to the metal !

    • endusersolutions2013 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      4 minute call of Hossa was questionable. Not a whine, just saying it was marginal.

      What was not marginal was Otts takedown/holddown of Toews, when he knew the play was going the other way and he could get away with it.

  13. r8rbhawk - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    After the first two games, I really felt that this was going to be the Blues’ year. It seems like every year the Stanley Cup is one by a team that staves off defeat and pulls off some miraculous wins. Last year we had the two goals in 17 seconds. In 2010 the Hawks won game 5 against Nashville after tying the game in the closing seconds while short handed. Going back further, the Habs won 11 of their 16 games in overtime in 1993. The Blues had those two huge wins in this series so I figured if the Hawks do not pull this off, the Blues are destined to win it all. Obviously I am glad the Hawks came back and showed some serious intestinal fortitude after those two brutal losses. This comeback will definitely be a story line as the Blackhawks continue to march through the playoffs. Although the Avs had our number this year, the team I was most fearful of was just eliminated, in epic fashion, no less. It may be the Hawks year after all… I guess we’ll see what the next round brings.

  14. jpat2424 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Seriously. Somebody tell Backes not sure if he knows yet

  15. kastout11 - Apr 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    First, I am a Flyers fan, not a Blackhawks fan. I thought after game 2 of this series, I thought the Hawks were in trouble, but they showed why they are the defending Stanley Cup champions. Very impressive. That might have been the toughest matchup the Hawks will face. It is just unfortunate that the Blues had to face the Hawks in the first round. I think the injuries down the stretch and slipping in the standings at the end really hurt the Blues. A lot of their guys were hurt and didn’t play down the stretch.

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