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Oshie: ‘This should have been the year’

Apr 27, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT

Ken Hitchcock AP

The St. Louis Blues must deal with their second consecutive first-round exit on Sunday, but as painful as that might be, it seems like a good chunk of the team seems to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

The general feeling seems to be that the Blues are this close to breaking through, at least depending upon who’s talking.

Considering that management went all-in by acquiring (likely rental) Ryan Miller at the trade deadline, T.J. Oshie echoed the sentiment that this would be their big push.

While Oshie seems to lament the missed opportunity, Steve Ott seems to back up the “tweak instead of blow things up” notion.

Don’t make any mistake about it, though: there are plenty of Blues who are fed up with following up strong regular seasons with quick playoff exits.

Ott might say that they’re only a step or two away from being on the other side of the handshake lines.

  1. capspats - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Stop saying this was their third straight first round exit. Two years ago they lost to the kings in the second round

    • esracerx46 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:56 PM

      You are correct, in 2012 the Blues beat the Sharks 4-1, then lost to the Kings 4-0

    • James O'Brien - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      Thanks, will fix.

      • capspats - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Thanks for fixing. Sorry if I sounded harsh

      • James O'Brien - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:22 PM

        No worries, totally valid.

    • yourcubreporter - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      THIS IS YOUR PROTEST??? “My team didn’t go home after the first round in 3 consecutive seasons, only in two…” Sorry, but you’re missing the point. This St. Louis team was the Vegas odds-on favorite to win it all, went hard after the Presidents Cup, and went “all in” with the Ryan Miller trade…

      And now their assistants are booking them tee times…

    • imleftcoast - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Hawks players were pretty gracious, and it’s lame to see the trolls on here. This would have been a great Finals matchup. I wouldn’t beat dismantle the Blues for this loss. With that said, I didn’t Miller was the right goalie to bring in.

  2. esracerx46 - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    They posted a stat on Backes before the game today started. He’s only played in 22 playoff games. I found that fascinating. I’m not sure who that is an indictment of.

  3. mrhyperpants - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Still funny that Backes and the wanna be tough guy blues are out hahahaha!

  4. jernster21 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    It usually doesn’t get any easier after the 1st round. Armstrong made the wrong move at the deadline – they didn’t need a goalie, they needed a prolific goal scorer. I think the Blues and their fan bases are bit a jaded by the year Steen had and thought they finally had that offense to rely on but again, things tighten up, you don’t get the pretty goals every game and you have to grind them out. Maybe they have an identity crisis about which sort of team they’re supposed to be and what’s going to be successful in the playoffs – it’s like they play playoff hockey all regular season then the playoffs roll around and they don’t look like the same team.

    • esracerx46 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      Id have to agree. Similar to what the Chicago Bulls are. Max effort, grind it out, whatever is necessary in the regular season. Come playoff time they’re gassed, or the other team steps up, or just plain fall flat on their face

    • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      I’m not so sure. Neither the Kings nor the Bruins even had one 30-goal scorer on their rosters the year they won the Cup – and both of their goalies won the Conn Smythe. Furthermore, both played, and still do play, a hard, physical, grinding brand of hockey. Yet they’ve performed well in the playoffs lately. Especially the Bruins, with a second deep run last year and what looks like a third in progress now. That approach produced two of the last four Cup winners, so it’s hard to say it’s the wrong angle to take for a playoff contender. If the Blues are gassed come playoff time, why are the Bruins still good to go? They’re built on very similar models.

      • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        Whoops. Small mistake, the Bruins won the Cup the year Lucic potted 30. So I was wrong there. But in fairness, he also led the team in goals and tied for the lead in points with only 62. This was a very low-scoring team. Didn’t stop ’em from going the distance.

      • James O'Brien - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:22 PM

        It’s really hard to say, I agree. I think people underestimate the luck of the draw with matchups and other variables.

  5. luz56 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Yes and I can tear up that Vegas ticket that was. 9×1 odds… You guys tanked at the end if the year and only have yourselves to blame!!!!

  6. flyerguy73 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Not with Miller as your goalie. He is an average to below average goalie. He and the buffalo fans all had the blues organization fooled! Gotta love it.

    • nj666 - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      you do know your teams goalie is steve mason right?

  7. caps9 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Backes, Ott, Morrow, Reaves, Jackman….they worry too much about being the bully rather than winning games. Ott’s act has really grown thin. Ultimately, skill won out.

    • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Skill didn’t lead the Canucks over the Bruins. Nor did it save the Devils from the Kings. No superstar offense on those teams, and they both won the Cup against teams that did. Kovalchuk and Parise for the Devils, the Sedins for the Canucks, and yet they couldn’t get it done against comparatively blue-collar rosters. The difference was goaltending. Quick and Thomas played like wizards in the years they won. Can you really blame Armstrong for building a team on the same formula? He just picked the wrong goalie to be “the guy.”

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        And Crawford and Niemi?

      • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        I’m not saying it’s the ONLY formula. The Hawks clearly haven’t leaned on goaltending for their team. It’s just a popular option these days. Can’t blame Armstrong for trying to do something that’s clearly worked for other teams.

  8. thesportsjudge - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    How would Ott know about “something special?”

  9. capspats - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Thanks for fixing. Sorry if I sounded harsh

  10. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 27, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    As a Hawks fan I prefer Anti Niemi over Crawford. (Just sayin’)

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 27, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Oh my lord yes.

      Especially since keeping Niemi would have meant losing Hjalmarsson, and Niemi’s first contract was worth less that what the Hawks were willing to pay him in the first place.

      I like Niemi, but Stan Bowman nailed this set of moves.

    • Douglas K. - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      I prefer a cup winner. Both guys did that for us, and Crow’s looking to do it again.

      The Blackhawks do not beat the Blues without Crawford playing as big as he did when it mattered.

  11. icrew29 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    Intimidation does not work anymore in the NHL.

  12. purpleguy - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    The Blues just seemed slow compared to the Hawks. Then again, most teams do I guess.

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