What Went Wrong: The St. Louis Blues
This is a continuing series that will explore why the various teams that fall by the wayside did exactly that.
In an incredibly tight series between two teams that were trading spots in the standings up until the final weekend, the Kings were just slightly better in virtually every facet. Los Angeles’s forwards are slightly more skilled, their D slightly more seasoned, their coach slightly better, and despite his game 1 gaffe, Jonathan Quick was just good enough to beat his blue and yellow opponent.
This series was so close and so hard fought, it’s really unfair to blame the Blues for much, but a few more points out of David Backes, and Jordan Leopold having any sort of measurable impact would have gone a long way. Both teams are built to grind out tough wins, but the Kings enjoy a small advantage with Richards, Carter, Brown, Kopitar, and Penner over Backes, Oshie, Steen, Berglund, and Perron for the Blues.
That skill made all the difference as the Blues outshot (177-149) the Kings and directed more shots towards the net (351-314), but were outscored 9-7 at even strength. The special teams were similarly close with the Blues going 2/17 on the man advantage to the Kings’ 2/16. The Kings just had a little bit more.