Out For Series
After the game I asked Ken Hitchcock if he expects Jaroslav Halak to be available in either game in Los Angeles. His response wasn't nearly as shocking as the Blues Game 2 performance but certainly caught the media off guard.
Hitchcock officially ruled Halak out for the rest of the series.
Halak is dealing with a high ankle sprain going back to Game 2 against San Jose. He recently started skating on his own and rode the bike Monday morning. He's no longer walking with a limp and appeared to be closer to at least practicing.
Obviously not the case.
It's now up to Brian Elliott, along with the rest of the club, to dig themselves out of the 0-2 hole they're currently in.
Monday Night Masacre...
This goes down as one of the worst home playoff performances in club history.
Are the Blues satisfied by just making it out of the first round?
Many around town assumed the road to the Stanley Cup was already paved with traditional powerhouses Detroit, San Jose, Vancouver, and Chicago already eliminated. Good teams know how to handle success and this seems to be an issue for the Blues.
Did people think the five-game dropkicking of the Canucks was a fluke? Did the Blues buy into the parade plans already underway?
The difference between the Los Angeles Kings and the Blues is pretty simple. One team has 20 players willing to run through a wall and do whatever it takes to win and the other doesn't. Other than Captain David Backes who showed up for St. Louis? Andy McDonald always plays hard and provided some effort but the list is pretty short. I'll give props to T.J. Oshie who came alive in the third period. His hit on Dustin Penner impressed Kings Captain Dustin Brown so much that Brown told Oshie "good hit" minutes later while lining up for a face off.
I understand how important Alex Pietrangelo is to this roster but c'mon, the Blues demonstrated no maturity in Monday’s game. You have to be able to fight through adversity to win in the playoffs and the Blues failed in this department.
They were unglued from the beginning taking one careless penalty after another. Punching a player in the face after the whistle solves absolutely nothing. The lack of focus in a playoff game is inexcusable.
The Kings get back up after they get hit, the Blues might want to take notice.
Did it hurt not having Pietrangelo? Of course it did but now isn't the time to make excuses. If the Blues had actually shown some level of competitiveness then you can say it was the difference.
Pietrangelo by the way still complained of headaches after skating Monday morning but also was unable to play through a lower body injury. The team is hopeful he can play Thursday in LA
The Blues went 0/9 on the PP.
Defensively the Blues were simply atrocious and I was waiting for the pairings to switch up. Just to give a different look if for nothing else.
Hitchcock appeared animated on the Blues bench and it's hard to blame him.
It's never a good sign when the home arena busts out the motivational videos on the jumbotron in the first period.
It’s hard to place a ton of blame on goaltender Brian Elliott but he needs to be better if the Blues are going to beat a team as complete as LA. Jonathan Quick made a game saving save in the opening minute of Game 1 and St. Louis could have used the same early in Game 2.
I can go into further detail on specific plays but it is what is it is. This is what happens when you fail to show up in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
I’ll have more Tuesday.
More to come,
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