The St. Louis Blues season came to an end last night as the Los Angeles Kings beat them 2-1 in yet another hard fought contest. Every game in this series was decided by one goal and the Blues need to hold their heads high after such an effort. Given the tough battling that went on, it may be appropriate at this time to ask, what was the difference maker in this series? Why did the Kings win? I think the major reason for this outcome is simple to state but harder to overcome. Both the Blues and the Kings have tough defenses and great goalies, but what it really came down to was the fact that the Kings have more go to scorers. They have more players that can put the puck on net and take advantage of scoring opportunites. This is especially true in a series like this, which relied on the incredible bouncing puck to make the difference, so evenly matched were these teams in other ways.
So, what needs to be done in St. Louis? The easy answer would be to go get some free agents snipers and increase the number of go to scorers. The problem there, however, is that the Blues really do not operate that way. They look for solutions within. You will notice that when they look to trade, it is often for defencemen or goalies. They have not shown (recently) that they will go sign big time free agent sniping talent or trade for it either. I guess we will see, but that seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle. The emergence of someone like Vladimir Tarasenko would be a more likely example of how the Blues address this question. It could be an interesting offseason. The Blues are making strides, here is hoping it continues.