By Adrian Dater
I wasn’t the only one who asked the question after this year’s NHL trade deadline. Yeah, the St. Louis Blues did well to boost their defense with the acquisitions of veterans Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold, but what about the offense? Did the team’s management really think it had enough in that department for a long playoff run?
If it did, the front office had to be thinking differently while watching the Blues pass through the handshake line after their 2-1 loss on Friday night.
The Blues never needed as much help on their back end as they did up front, and management’s failure to realize it played a significant role in the team’s frustrating six-game, first-round exit at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.
After jumping out to a 2-0 series lead against a team that many (hand raised here) thought looked too hungover to repeat as champs, the Blues’ inability to generate goals (they scored a total of 10 in the six games) proved fatal, especially with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick rounding into his Conn Smythe form after gift-wrapping two wins in St. Louis.
Some thoughts and observations from Game 6: