Never before have I seen a hockey team work so much for so little. Such quality play from the Blues, and nothing to show for it. The smart defense has been there for the most part, the Blues had good goaltending that gave them a chance to win, and they had an energy line that should have rubbed off on the rest of the team.
The downside is, they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn all series long, and when you're playing a goaltender like Jonathan Quick, you gotta make him work for it. The Blues did, a little - but not nearly enough.
This series had everything from the Blues but scoring. It even came complete with a deflating last-second goal, albiet in the second period - still wound up being the game winner, though:
That's an appropriate way for the season to end. Not with a bang, but with a groan. The effort was there this year, but not on a consistent basis. There were some games where you felt like they were going to really bust their asses, and then there were others where you knew what would happen: the defense and bottom lines would work hard, and the top lines'd grip their sticks too tight, everyone trying to be a hero, and miss the net.
All in all, though, this was the most evenly matched playoff series that I've seen in years, and one bounce one way or the other, and every game easily could have had a different outcome. At least we can take comfort in knowing that the Blues will need some Icy Hot before they hit the links. They went down swinging, but they went down nonetheless.
Congrats to the Kings on a hard-fought series.