The playoffs never seem to go well for the St. Louis Blues. The last time the Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Finals it was 1970. Despite making it to the championship series three times in a row from 1968 to 1970, the Blues never won a single game trying to win the Stanley Cup.
This postseason, the Blues face long odds for several reasons.
First are the injuries. Jaroslav Halak has been ruled out for the rest of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Kings. His leg injury continues to impede his play. That means Brian Elliott will have to step up and give the performance of his life if the Blues are to survive a 2-0 deficit in the series.
I'm guessing that means Pietrangelo hasn't had a full practice since he was slammed into the boards. His chin bled after a hit behind the goal that sent his head into the wall.
Second is the history. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Blues have been in 0-2 deficits in 15 playoff series in the franchise's history. Only once has St. Louis rallied to win. That was in 1972 after the Stanley Cup Finals years had worn off a bit.
The power play has gone silent. The Blues used the man advantage to score at will against the San Jose Sharks in the opening series. The big guns have since gone silent. Los Angeles has a much better defense.
Third is the defense. Both the Blues and Sharks have solid defenses. For now, the lack of Pietrangelo seems to be the key to success for Los Angeles. They scored four goals in the first period alone in Game 2. Half of those were because of a lack of mental concentration on the defense's part and were not the fault of goaltender Brian Elliott.
For the Blues to win, they simply need to toughen up. Things are perfect right now with some major injures. But the circumstances aren't insurmountable. The adage "one game at a time" is certainly appropriate. If St. Louis strings enough one-game-at-a-time wins together, eventually the team will win the series.
The postseason begins anew Thursday, May 3, with or without Pietrangelo. How the Blues respond will determine their fortunes this year.
William Browning was born in St. Louis and has been a lifelong Blues fan.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alex Pietrangelo
- Los Angeles Kings
- Brian Elliott