The St. Louis Blues season is over after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in Game 6 to the Colorado Avalanche. It may have been the worst possible way for the season to end, with Darren Helm scoring a goal with 4.9 seconds left.
The Blues were outmatched for most of this series, and they were lucky to take this to six after the Avalanche dominated the majority of periods. The series ended with the rightful winner, as the Avalanche carried the play and have been due to get out of the second round for a long time.
The Blues relied far too much on their goaltending in this series, and when Jordan Binnington went down, the series changed. The Avalanche likely win the series no matter who is in net for the Blues, but it’s always an interesting hypothetical.
Too Many Missed Opportunities for the Blues
Despite being badly outshot and outplayed, the Blues had some high-quality scoring chances in this game. The ones that stand out the most were Jordan Kyrou in the second period after he scored to make it a 2-1 game for the Blues, he had a chance to add on.
On the power play, Kyrou had a wide-open net as Darcy Kuemper slid to his left and Josh Manson made a huge play to make the save. With that play, Kyrou was too nonchalant with the puck and committed to deking instead of shooting. That play and Kyrou firing wide on a breakaway changed the trajectory of the game; it could’ve easily been 3-1 Blues at a minimum.
Overall, it’s hard to believe the Blues didn’t score more than two goals with Kuemper struggling, but they didn’t play a good game. It’s also tough to watch the Blues play this poorly in an elimination game at home. They lost all three home games in the series and it made a huge difference.
Hard to Blame Husso for the Loss
That was more than likely the final game for Ville Husso as a member of the Blues, as he will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. There is a good chance that a team that is desperate for a goaltender will give him a lot of money, and that is something the Blues will not do.
He saved 36 of 39 shots in Game 6, many of them keeping the Blues in the game. He gave up a weak one that made it 2-2 and it was the second of the game for J.T. Compher. There were a lot of mistakes made in front of Husso on the game-ending goal, and one of them was being passive with 20 seconds left. Dumping the puck in that spot is a sign that the Blues were begging for overtime, and it burned them.
The bottom line is that blaming Husso for this game is not right. The team in front of him let him down by allowing the Avalanche to skate all over them. It will always be easy to root for Husso, who the Blues drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft. He spent a long time in the organization and had a tremendous regular season that helped the Blues get to where they ended up.
The Better Team Won the Series
It was obvious by watching just about every game of the series with the exception of Game 2, that the Avalanche were the better team. Other than goaltending, I believe that they are the best team remaining in this playoffs with how they can drive play at any point.
The Blues did not allow Cale Makar to beat them, but the Avalanche got contributions from a lot of depth players. A great example of that was Helm and Compher being the only goalscorers in the clinching game. Nathan MacKinnon didn’t have a goal in the series until his Game 5 explosion with three of them. He still managed to have seven points in the five games, but he wasn’t dominant. It was just a team effort by the Avalanche in all six games, and the Blues couldn’t match their level of play.
It was just an awful way for the Blues’ season to end, but overall the season was successful. They finally got back out of the first round after two straight embarrassing exits, and they proved that they could hang in a series with a juggernaut like the Avalanche by taking them to six games. A long summer awaits, with multiple major free agents possibly exiting and not a lot of cap space to work with.
I have been covering sports for nearly a decade. I started with FanSided as a Baseball Contributor. Now I am writing about the NHL and the St. Louis Blues for The Hockey Writers. I grew up in Central Illinois as a huge fan of every sport. Finally, I do various podcasting across all major platforms.