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Poll: What is the most painful playoff loss in Blues history?

Aug 12, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

Blues Blackhawks Hockey

Sorry for the depressing poll question, Blues fans. I just feel like this team doesn’t get enough respect when there’s a debate on tortured fan bases.

Not that the Blues’ faithful has suffered like, say, fans of the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908. But consider:

— In the NHL, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone as long without winning the Stanley Cup as the Blues. Toronto last won it in 1967. The Blues, of course, have never won the Cup since entering the league for the 1967-68 season.

— The Blues went to the Stanley Cup Final in the first three years of their existence, thanks in large part to the NHL’s expansion format that had all six new teams in one division. In 1968 and 1969, they were swept by Montreal in the final. In 1970, they were swept by the Boston Bruins, with the winning goal by Bobby Orr producing one of the most famous sports images ever.

— The Blues made the playoffs 25 straight times from 1980 to 2004. The best they could muster during that impressive streak was two trips to the conference finals, in 1986 and 2001, where they lost in seven to Calgary and five to Colorado, respectively.

— The Blues won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1999-2000, finishing with a record of 51-19-11-1. They then proceeded to get upset by San Jose in the first round.

— Since 2002, the Blues have won a grand total of one — yep, one — playoff series. This despite making the postseason six times, twice after 100-plus-point seasons, which includes last season.

OK, time to vote. If I’ve omitted a particularly painful playoff moment, please share in the comments section.

Update: Totally whiffed on the Steve Yzerman goal in 1996. What can I say? There have been a lot of tough losses for St. Louis. To be fair, that ’96 Blues team didn’t have a great regular-season record, and beating Detroit would’ve been a massive upset. They did have Wayne Gretzky, though. So I blew it. Apologies.

Related: Looking to make the leap: Jori Lehtera

  1. zrampold - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    How can you not have this as an option:


    • jernster21 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      That has to be the most perfect shot in NHL history.

    • mshantz22 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      No kidding. That play is the definition of a painful playoff loss.

  2. jacketsfan7 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I was just gonna say that!!^^^

  3. cardsfan773 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    That was my first time ever attending a Blues game. It was shocking to say the least. But, it aure hasn’t stopped me from going to more games. Let’s Go Blues

  4. Paper Lions - Aug 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I would vote for “all of the above”, each loss feels pretty much exactly like the ones that came before it.

  5. hanspard - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    In addition to the disappointment of that moment, now I also have the disappointment of remembering how good an announcer Ken Wilson was. What I would give to have him back…..

    • stevequinn - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:38 AM

      Hated Wilson. John Kelly and Panger are outstanding. But there will never be another Dan Kelly.

  6. rmccleary97 - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    We can only pick one? The first two aren’t that big a deal; we weren’t supposed to compete against Boston (though it sucks to see Orr’s goal in every playoff highlight reel), and getting to Game 7 vs. Calgary was a major miracle. ’12, we felt great just to get to the 2nd round – and it was so sudden and so relatively complete, it’s hard to say “man, we had a chance there.” This past April, even after we went up 2-0 I think most Blues fans were still expecting the team to lose (but at least put up a fight doing it, instead of the abomination of effort that we were “treated” to).

    And then there was (in decreasing order of pain) …

    2000 – Finally, a dominant team poised for a Cup run – with the #1 seed and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs – and … Turek. As much crap as Elliott ges for the Penner shot in Game 6 of the 2013 playoffs, that one deflected off of Polak’s stick so at least there’s an explanation for how Elliott misjudged it; Nolan had a clean shot, and Turek tried to do some … whatever it was he was doing … and completely screwed it up. Still 2 periods to go, but when that puck went into the net, you knew the Blues were done.

    1996 – Ugh. That’s it, no more explanation needed. The only thing making this less painful is that we really had no business being in Game 7 with Detroit; getting to the 2nd OT still scoreless with backup goalie Jon Casey in net was just short of miraculous. But still …. ugh.

    1991 – 2nd in the league in points to Chicago, we had to scratch and claw and come back from 3-1 down to get past Detroit, and with the North Stars (who only got into the playoffs because each division got 4 teams and Toronto sucked even worse) having knocked out the Blackhawks, it looked like the path was clear to the Finals. Little did we know, the ‘Note was going to go quietly in 6 to the North Stars as well.

    2013 – Los Angeles II. Up 2-0, reasonably in control, had all kinds of chances on Quick, and just could not bury them. We seemingly make about 10 mistakes on defense all series, and the Kings convert on 9 of them.

    1995 – Vancouver I. We probably still don’t get past Detroit, but with home ice in the series we probably shouldn’t have gone out in 7 in the first round. We *really* shouldn’t have lost 3 of 4 at home.

    2003 – Vancouver II. Up 3-1, without MacInnis, and the team cannot scrape enough effort together to finish the Canucks off because “we had the flu.” Also marked the point where Quenneville lost control of the team.

    1993 – swept Chicago, scrapped against the Maple Leafs to force Game 7, then didn’t bother to show up for it – capped by CuJo’s disaster in net (as opposed to the stellar goaltending he had shown prior to that) and Paul Cavallini shooting the puck into his own net.

  7. vancouversportsbro - Aug 12, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    The 2000 one was bad. None of the others come close. Last year was a bit painful but the Hawks are the Hawks and I remember they barely won those first two games. It wasn’t as if they were dominating or anything and then just gave up.

  8. steve1612 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Yep, 1991 was the one that just killed me. I still remember the sight of Hull and Oates both kneeling on one knee on the ice after losing game 6.

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