Stay calm and carry on. At this point, that is all the St. Louis Blues can do. Down three games to none in this playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, they had better figure something out, and fast. Watching the King stars Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Jonathan Quick make easy work of the Blues is like watching men versus boys. It just does not even seem fair.
Despite being an eighth seed team in the Western Conference, no one has been able to slow the Los Angeles Kings down so far. Not the top seeded Vancouver Canucks, and certainly not the St. Louis Blues.
The Kings, once again, came out on fire as they made easy work of the Blues on Thursday night. Drew Doughty had a goal and two assists, Mike Richards scored Los Angeles’ first power play goal in six games, and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves to propel the Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Blues. The Kings are now only one game way from a highly unexpected second-round sweep of the St. Louis Blues.
The Kings improve to a record of 7-1 in the postseason, and have made the Blues look like they are already out on the golf course.
“They’re full marks,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said regarding the Los Angeles Kings. “They’re on top of their game, and they have been for a while now.”
The Blues’ final chance to redeem themselves will occur on Sunday, when they will face the Kings in Game 4 in Los Angeles. This all coming from a team who barely even made it into the playoffs last month. The Blues have not looked like themselves since the first period of Game 1, and the Kings have done their best to make Brian Elliott look like a deer in headlights every time they skate towards him.
St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is going to have to somehow infuse some confidence into a struggling Elliott if they are even going to scrape one win out of this playoff series. Elliott has got to start stopping the easy King shots and give his offense a chance to take a lead for once and not be continually fighting from a deficit position.
“With our team, there is no reason we should be down three games right now,” right wing Matt D’Agostini said. “But we are the type of team that is very capable of coming back in this series. There is a lot of promise still in this room and we have a lot of belief in our guys and what we can do, so don’t count us out just yet.”
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo returned to the starting lineup on Thursday night after missing Game 2 with an injury that he received on a hard hit in Game 1, but it remains to be seen if there is time to save this series.
Blues fans all held their breath in Game 3 as he received another rough hit from Kings captain Dustin Brown, and then let out a collective sigh of relief when he didn’t seem to be too phased by the collision. The Kings seem to be very effective at manhandling the Blues, and St. Louis is going to have to find a way to play more physical if they are going to get back into this series.
The Kings postseason road record is currently 5-0, and in an attempt to sustain that road momentum, they are staying at hotel across the street from the Staples Center. Probably one of the most rational superstitions that I have heard as of late!
Of note for Blues fans, St. Louis has rallied from an 0-2 playoff series deficit just once in franchise history. This occurred in 1972 when the Blues came back to beat the Minnesota North Stars.
It’s now or never boys. Dig deep. Because it’s the cup.