The St. Louis Blues are one game away from starting their summer. Based on how several skaters have played the last few games, some might have big summer plans they can't wait to start.
What's there to say? If you've been around here or if you've been a Blues fan for any period of time you should know what to expect by now. The Blues will raise your expectations and give you hope only to crush them when it matters most.
In Game 5 the Blues battled back to tie the game 1-1 after allowing an early goal to start the second period. After giving up a goal in the first minute of the third period, the team appeared to have packed it in and called it a night. Not so fast. Alex Pietrangelo tied the contest with the goalie pulled and less than a minute to go in the contest.
Bring on OT. Blues brought the pressure, but were caught on a 3-on-2 and Brian Elliott lifted his leg over Slava Voynov's shot. Game over.
The motto of today's story is unchanged by the Blues scoring to tie it late in the third. Simply, the Blues had more chances than the Kings and walked away with the loss. The Blues again displayed plenty of promise yet find themselves one game away from elimination.
The Blues outplayed LA for the bulk of Game 5. They created far more opportunities, but no one could do anything with them. This isn't a new phenomenon as the Blues struggled throughout large portions of the year to generate offense despite setting up plenty of chances. The theme has always been that there's no one on the roster that can bury a chance when one arrives. Lots of helpers, no scorers.
When the Blues generated an opportunity, the final shot was always missing. Well, there were shots but none of them were on target. There were also plenty of times when a St. Louis forward would hold the puck, looking for that next pass instead of pulling the trigger and putting the puck on frame. That mindset - that goal-scorers mindset - is mostly absent on this roster.
Raise your expectations and hopes and then crush them. The Blues built a 2-0 series lead and then went on a three-game losing streak. They get close and fall just short. They play brilliantly and then take their foot of the gas. Usually when a team has such a night and day style you can pin it on the need for a coaching change. That's not the case here. Here the Blues have only themselves to blame as they sit on the brink.
Will the Blues push this series to seven games? It's certainly possibly. In fact, it'd match their style to push it to seven only to fall in devastating fashion on home ice.