Hey St. Louis Blues fans, how are we feeling this morning? Scorned. Angry. Enraged by a Game 2 that was seemingly sliding into the Blues hands late before a goal was negated and the Chicago Blackhawks ran away with the night. Guess what? Forget all of that. The Blues biggest problem again in the playoffs isn't referee decisions, coaching or depth in lines. It is scoring goals. Scoring enough goals. The Blues way of averaging 2 goals every single playoff appearance isn't going to create any happy endings.
Here are the last five years of playoff scoring:
2014-15, 14 goals, 2.3 average
2013-14, 14 goals, 2.3 average
2012-13, 10 goals, 1.6 average
2011-12, 20 goals, 2.2 average
2008-09, 5 goals, 1.25 average
When was the last time a Stanley Cup winner averaged 2 goals in the playoffs and won the Cup? Please answer me that. The Blues are being outplayed by the Hawks. Let's face it. What would the outcome of Game 1 been if a shot from David Backes didn't glance off a skate? The Hawks should have won Game 1 with their 35 shots, multiple scoring chances and pressure. Brian Elliott is the only reason this series isn't 2-0 Chicago heading back to The Windy City for Sunday's game.
You can find a way to sit here after an unfortunate and gut wrenching loss like last night and blame the refs for insufficient funds on the ice, but I won't. The Hawks didn't outplay the Blues as badly in Game 2, but it was still another case of the Blues being unable to score. Yes, they scored late off a wicked faceoff but it was too little too late. 3-2. Done deal.
I'm getting too old and fed up to dig into bigger data to find a reason why the Blues can't score but let me try. They get extra tentative during the postseason, passing extra and failing to finish. They miss the net regularly. The big guns outside of Tarasenko don't step up and play great hockey. Sure, it's nice to see Patrik Berglund push hard and force the Hawks to dish and it's nice to see the Blues throw big hits, but the Hawks just have a better overall attack and finish so far.
Last year, the Hawks averaged 2.9 goals in winning the Stanley Cup.
In 2013-14, the Los Angeles Kings averaged 3.38 goals in winning the Cup.
In 2012-13, the Chicago Blackhawks averaged 2.6 goals in winning the Cup.
In 2011-12, the Kings averaged 2.8 goals in winning the Cup.
The narrative. The St. Louis Blues don't fucking score enough goals and won't win shit unless they improve. They can send shots towards the goal but not so much on net or a real scoring chance. They once again lack finishers. You have Alex Pietrangelo skating in on a break and waiting too long to shoot. Alex Steen waiting too long to shot in the slot.
With great goaltending and a strong defense and penalty kill, the Blues simply can't score enough. That's the problem. It's been the problem.
You produce a measly 3 goals(4 if Tarasenko's second counts Friday night) inside two playoff games and you won't win shit.
Until the Blues learn to finish around the net(and coming in I thought they could with their line depth), they won't win a playoff series or even be able to dream about the Cup.
They are like that overachieving kid at the prom who really wants the pretty girl. They buy the clothes, the car, the roses, and plan it all out. When it comes time, they freeze up and it all goes to shit. That is your St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.
Also, don't ice the fucking puck with seven seconds left in the period? That Hawks goal late in the second gave them a life. Why is it that the Blues play like their balls are in a vice in the playoffs