Hitchcock Calls for 'Homegrown' Blues to Step Up

5 years 5 months 1 week ago Saturday, May 11 2013 May 11, 2013 Saturday, May 11, 2013 2:55:00 PM CDT May 11, 2013 in Sports
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Mouth agape, Ken Hitchcock struggled to process the buzzer-beater that crushed the St. Louis Blues' season. Goalie Brian Elliott sank to his knees in disbelief.
For the second straight playoffs, the Blues finished with four straight losses to the Los Angeles Kings. They didn't get swept this time, it just felt that way.
Especially to Hitchcock, who called out the cluster of high draft picks that have had several chances without making a splash in the postseason for a franchise still awaiting its first Stanley Cup. The roll call of first-rounders found wanting on the latest fade-out would be a long one.
"What I'm going to tell them is it's not good enough," Hitchcock said after the 2-1 eliminating loss in Game 6 Friday night. "If you want to be a champion, it's not good enough.
"If you want to be a champion, you're going to have to find a way."
T.J. Oshie, a first-rounder in 2005, was minus-3 in a game that included his first two career playoff goals. Patrik Berglund ('06) had one goal and David Perron ('07) none. Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko ('10) was not a factor in his single appearance.
Berglund had the best chance to tie it in the third but came up empty on a break-in, then was seen head in hands on the bench. They'll carry the memory of Dustin Penner's game-decider for months.
"On that play you're just kicking yourself," said captain David Backes, a second-rounder in 2003 who has delivered leadership and gritty play. "Those are the little things that get magnified. They dug deeper than we did, the fate is we're going home and they're continuing on."
While quick to credit Conn Smythe-winning goalie Jonathan Quick as the best player in the series, Hitchcock said the window of opportunity remained open for the Blues. But only, he was quick to add, if the core steps up.
"Quite frankly, we need more from the people that are homegrown," Hitchcock said. "And that's something we'll address the offseason and in conversations with each individual.
"We need the boys we built around."
The ones they traded for, too.
Among the disappointments they didn't draft were Chris Stewart, held to one assist after leading the team with 18 goals, and Andy McDonald, held scoreless.
Alex Steen and Vladimir Sobotka were among the few standouts at forward, Steen with a handful of clutch goals and Sobotka with consistent play all over the ice. The checking line of Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves lived up to its "CPR" nickname.
Goaltending and improved defense led the April surge. Elliott led the NHL with 11 wins in April and before Game 5 had allowed a single goal in eight consecutive games. Trade-deadline pickups Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold provided needed stability and composure to the back line, to the benefit of another former first-rounder, Alex Pietrangelo ('08).
The Blues had won 14 of 17 after taking the first two games of a physical series that featured three goals in the final minute of regulation, two overtimes and every game decided by a single goal. With no margin for error against the defending Stanley Cup champions, they paid for their lapses.
Up 2-0 in the series and 2-0 in Game 3, they relaxed and lost. They failed to take advantage of several opportunities in Jonathan Quick's 1-0 shutout in Game 4. After carrying play most of the second period in the 2-1 Game 6 loss on Friday night, they let up in the closing seconds.
"We hit a few posts and a couple sitting right there in the crease," Backes said. "It's beginning to be a broken record."
Hitchcock absolved Elliott of blame on the deciding goal, just as he did after Slava Voynov's overtime goal in Game 5 because a Blues stick interfered with the flight of the puck both times. On Penner's goal, he judged the puck jumped 4 feet.
He blamed everyone else.
"We didn't get the puck deep twice when we had a chance to clear, we didn't check the right player and then it went off our stick," Hitchcock said. "We panicked with the puck and it ended up in our net."
Players, who planned to clear out lockers Sunday, know there's room for improvement.
"This team was hot going into the playoffs, added pieces at the deadline," Backes said. "We took on some big players and we were expecting better than this.
"I don't know what the next step is, but right now it's just sour."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - November candidates want to earn your vote by discussing disability-related issues on Thursday. The City of Columbia... More >>
7 minutes ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:49:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The man killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton on Wednesday has been identified as Charles... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - A school in Gasconade County went on lockdown on Wednesday after a juvenile threatened to self-harm nearby,... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:39:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a request on Monday to change the zoning of nearly 50 properties in... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Andy Neidert's building on the corner of East High Street and Madison Street has been collapsing and held... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A former Missouri woman, now living in Florida's panhandle, said Wednesday she is experiencing the "catastrophic"... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Claire McCaskill's office has responded to a investigative piece by Project Veritas,which focuses on her campaign office. ... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:24:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A white woman has been fired after video emerged of her confronting and blocking the entry of a... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Robert Pinhero created a GoFundMe page and is recruiting drivers to help get voters without a car... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Cole County – From oil-dripping trucks to ones without seatbelts, Cole County Fire District officials say there's a pressing need... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:38:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Eight people were arrested after the Callaway County Sherrif's Office found 3.5 pounds of methamphetamine, about one... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- At least 92 people in 29 states have been infected with a strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella after coming... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:11:43 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — In ads and speeches, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is pounding Missouri voters with a single... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:19:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A multi-vehicle crash sent one man to the hospital with injuries right before the Wednesday morning commute.... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The man prosecutors accused of killing Lincoln University student Charon Session pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning. About... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:54:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri had to toss out giving its Nobel Prize winning scientist a parking space... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:24:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — No winning lottery ticket was sold for the latest Mega Millions drawing, meaning the estimated... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 10:14:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for a suspect after an armed robbery at a convenience store in... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:32:00 AM CDT October 17, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
4am 39°
5am 38°
6am 36°
7am 36°