Young, yet experienced. Fast, yet strong. Unproven, yet game-changing. The St. Louis Blues answered a lot of questions in their Western Conference playoff run this year. In the end, the San Jose Sharks seemed to have their number. A 5-2 loss did them in in Game 6, ending their 2015-16 season.
Heart and Hard Work
The ups and downs of playoff hockey were definitely felt in this year’s deep run through the NHL playoffs. There were doubters but St. Louis did all they could to prove them wrong through each of the 20 games they played.
One of the main roadblocks the Blues ran into was their lack of offence. They scored just 15 goals in the six games and were shutout twice. Glimpses of offence filtered through the strong defensive play of the Sharks. A 6-3 win in Game 4 looked to show that the team from the Gateway City was not going away without a fight.
That’s exactly what happened in the series and throughout the playoffs, the Blues did not give up. Two hard fought Game 7 wins versus the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars proved to fans that their team has heart. The series versus the Hawks was one of the most entertaining playoffs series I’ve ever witnessed. The mix of youth and veteran leadership in the Blues dressing room proved to be the perfect concoction to take Round One.
Brian Elliott was a huge part of the run, no question. Despite being pulled and sitting for two games in the Western Conference Final, he’s one of the main reasons St. Louis made it as far as they did. Don’t let some of the scores in the series fool you either, he stood on his head each and every game and deserves all the praise he’s received.
The Blues Should be Proud
And so should their fans. While the ultimate goal was still six wins away, the team showed a massive amount of heart and hard work. Big players stepped up when they needed to in order to push the Blues on their one of their deepest playoff runs in history.
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) May 26, 2016
There are tears shed in St. Louis today. But whether it be players, coaches, or fans; be proud. There are fantastic young skaters in each position that have emerged as a result of this entire season alongside the veterans. Rookies Colton Parayko and Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz, Brian Elliott, Paul Stastny and if resigned in the offseason, David Backes and Troy Brouwer.
Those are just to name a few. Up and down this lineup there are key players and role players who gave it their all this year (especially in the postseason) to make the city proud. Round Three was the team’s toughest test and the Sharks proved to the hockey world that it was just their time to move on. The Blues have a bright roster to look forward to and their time may also be just around the corner.