Posted May 11, 2013 on AP on Fox
Mouth agape, Ken Hitchcock struggled to process the buzzer-beater that crushed the St. Louis Blues' season. Goalie Brian Elliott sank to his knees in disbelief. For the second straight playoffs, the Blues finished with four straight losses to the Los Angeles Kings. They didn't get swept this time, it just felt that way. Especially to Hitchcock, who called out the cluster of high draft picks that have had several chances without making a splash in the postseason for a franchise still awaiting its first Stanley Cup. The roll call of first-rounders found wanting on the latest fade-out would be a long one. ''What I'm going to tell them is it's not good enough,'' Hitchcock said after the 2-1 eliminating loss in Game 6 Friday night. ''If you want to be a champion, it's not good enough. ''If you want to be a champion, you're going to have to find a way.'' T.J. Oshie, a first-rounder in 2005, was minus-3 in a game that included his first two career playoff goals. Patrik Berglund ('06) had one goal and David Perron ('07) none. Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko ('10) was not a factor in his single appearance. Berglund had the best chance to tie it in the third but came up empty on a break-in, then was seen head in hands on the bench. They'll carry the memory of Dustin Penner's game-decider for months. ''On that play you're just kicking yourself,'' said captain David Backes, a second-rounder in 2003 who has delivered leadership and gritty play. ''Those are the little things that get magnified. They dug deeper than we did, the fate is we're going home and they're continuing on.'' While quick to credit Conn Smythe-winning goalie Jonathan Quick as the best player in the series, Hitchcock said the window of opportunity remained open for the Blues. But only, he was quick to add, if the core steps up. ''Quite frankly, we need more from the people that are homegrown,'' Hitchcock said. ''And that's something we'll address the offseason and in conversations with each individual. ''We need the boys we built around.'' The ones they traded for, too. Among the disappointments they didn't draft were Chris Stewart, held to one assist after leading the team with 18 goals, and Andy McDonald, held scoreless. Alex Steen and Vladimir Sobotka were among the few standouts at forward, Steen with a handful of clutch goals and Sobotka with consistent play all over the ice. The checking line of Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves lived up to its ''CPR'' nickname. Goaltending and improved defense led the April surge. Elliott led the NHL with 11 wins in April and before Game 5 had allowed a single goal in eight consecutive games. Trade-deadline pickups Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold provided needed stability and composure to the back line, to the benefit of another former first-rounder, Alex Pietrangelo ('08). The Blues had won 14 of 17 after taking the first two games of a physical series that featured three goals in the final minute of regulation, two overtimes and every game decided by a single goal. With no margin for error against the defending Stanley Cup champions, they paid for their lapses. Up 2-0 in the series and 2-0 in Game 3, they relaxed and lost. They failed to take advantage of several opportunities in Jonathan Quick's 1-0 shutout in Game 4. After carrying play most of the second period in the 2-1 Game 6 loss on Friday night, they let up in the closing seconds. ''We hit a few posts and a couple sitting right there in the crease,'' Backes said. ''It's beginning to be a broken record.'' Hitchcock absolved Elliott of blame on the deciding goal, just as he did after Slava Voynov's overtime goal in Game 5 because a Blues stick interfered with the flight of the puck both times. On Penner's goal, he judged the puck jumped 4 feet. He blamed everyone else. ''We didn't get the puck deep twice when we had a chance to clear, we didn't check the right player and then it went off our stick,'' Hitchcock said. ''We panicked with the puck and it ended up in our net.'' Players, who planned to clear out lockers Sunday, know there's room for improvement. ''This team was hot going into the playoffs, added pieces at the deadline,'' Backes said. ''We took on some big players and we were expecting better than this. ''I don't know what the next step is, but right now it's just sour.''

Blues' locker room is "disjointed"

Numerous reports and rumors have surfaced over the last few days that the St. Louis Blues are having some issues in their locker room. These reports range from Jaroslav Halak having a shouting match with Ken Hitchcock to there just being some mostly harmless division in the dressing room. It's unclear where the truth lies, but Jeremy Rutherford confirms that the St. Louis...

Hitchcock And Halak Disagreement Surfaces

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St. Louis Blues needs to retool

The Blues have built the framework for a winning program in the ultra-competition Western Conference.But the project remains incomplete. The Blues are good enough to play the defending Stanley Cup champions to a virtual standstill, but not quite good enough to beat them.They earned respect from their rival but they did not advance. The Kings set the standard in the NHL these days...

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The St. Louis Blues are on the brink of elimination tonight in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. After the Blues took an early 2-0 series lead, the Kings showed why they are defending Stanley Cup Champions and have won three straight games to take a 3-2 series lead. The Kings also swept the Blues in...

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The rumors are true. Jeremy Rutherford confirms that Jaroslav Halak and Ken Hitchcock had a "heated disagreement" prior to Game 4 in Los Angeles. The argument took place outside of the team's locker room and was evidently started due to the fact Halak was late for a team meeting. Halak argued with Hitchcock about his lack of playing time at the end of the regular season...

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St. Louis Blues' season comes to an end in 2-1 loss in Game 6

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Friday night Cardinals vs Rockies channel info

Fridays (May 10) Cardinals game vs. Colorado will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest Plus in the St. Louis market and on alternate channels on DirecTV, Dish and AT&T U-verse. This is because of overlap with the St. Louis Blues playoff game on FOX Sports Midwest. Outside the St. Louis market the Cardinals-Rockies game will air on the FOX Sports Midwest main channel on cable TV...

Blues stay positive in return to LA

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Robyn Regehr broke his nose and got a puck in his ear, while captain Dustin Brown merely has a jagged cut on the bridge of his unbroken nose. Other Los Angeles Kings bear their own souvenirs, and several St. Louis Blues are similarly marked up. After five bruising games of this first-round playoff series, the Kings and Blues are pretty certain they're...

Moving On by   Jack Weber

After winning their third straight game to claw out of a 2-0 deficit and take a 3-2 lead in this first-round series with the St. Louis Blues, the Kings returned home for Game 6 tonight. You can bet Darryl Sutter likely wanted to make no changes to the lineup that won the first road game [...]
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