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BLUES GO DOWN SWINGING, LOSE IN OT, SEASON OVER
Posted on 21 Apr 2009 by cprice12
The St. Louis Blues put up a good fight in game four of their opening round matchup against the Vancouver Canucks, but were the victims of a quick whistle that took a goal away, a powerless power play, and a bad goal against in OT that sealed the deal and sent the Blues packing in four games.
The Blues really have nobody to blame but themselves for getting swept. Their power play looked awful. Vancouver didn't have to do much on the PK, as the Blues were making bad passes and were reluctant to shoot from the point and get the puck to the net. A four minute power play in overtime was wasted by the inability of St. Louis to get the puck deep when Vancouver was standing them up at the blue line. Time after time the puck carrier tried to skate through the defense on the power play, only to turn the puck over. Vancouver has average penalty killing and the Blues HAD an excellent power play coming into the playoffs. The Blues failed to take advantage of their biggest advantage in this series. It's a shame too. Because if their power play was clicking, they could have won a couple of the first four games.
You could also blame poor officiating in game #4. Not only did the referee not see the Blues push the puck go across the goal line against Luongo, but he blew the whistle too quick, which made it impossible for the War Room in Toronto to award the goal to the Blues, which would have put them up 3-2 late in the 2nd period.
Vancouver should be thanking Roberto Luongo. Without him, this series could be tied 2-2. The last time a goalie played this well against the Blues in the playoffs, was in 2001 when Patrick Roy stood on his head and stole the series for the Avalanche.
The series clinching goal was a softie. A shot from the near boards on the rush that found it's way through Chris Mason's pads with only seconds left in the first overtime. Not the goal to end the season on.
Overall this was a successful season for the Blues as they played stellar hockey for the final three months of the season to climb out of the conference basement and up the standings and finish in 6th place. That was truly a great accomplishment, and the inability to carry that momentum into the playoffs shouldn't diminish their acheivement. This is a very young team that hopefully gained some valuable playoff experience.
Next year, the Blues will be back, they should easily make the playoffs, they will have Erik Johnson in the lineup, they will have Paul Kariya in the lineup and the kid line will have another year experience. There will also probably be a couple new faces on the roster as well. Everyone kows the future looks bright for St. Louis. But nobody knows how for they can go. Hopefully this entire season was a learning experience.
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