ST. LOUIS Not good enough.
The St. Louis Blues' effort after the first period Saturday wasn't good enough to beat the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. It wasn't good enough to please coach Ken Hitchcock, and it wasn't good enough for them to leave Scottrade Center thinking they hold a major advantage at home.
Yes, the Blues lost 3-1 and found themselves with a 1-0 series deficit for the second time in these playoffs because the Kings were sharper both with their play and mental approach. Above all, the highest remaining seed in the Western Conference lost because it grew complacent.
A team capable of winning the Stanley Cup doesn't give up a shorthanded goal early in the second period to defenseman Matt Greene, a mistake that proved to be the decisive score.
A team capable of winning the Stanley Cup doesn't experience a lapse in intensity after a strong start, so much so that Hitchcock said his players "deferred&q...