Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

From Both Sides- St. Louis Blues/Colorado Avalanche

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Inside a quiet elevator in a silenced arena, the doors opened to reveal the biggest Blues fan there is.

Tom Stillman, hockey-loving chairman of the Blues, stepped into a Ball Arena elevator to go down to ice level, where it had just happened.

It, of course, being the impossible.

“That was hard on the heart,” Stillman said. “But it showed the team has a lot of heart.”

Even before puck-drop, it was hard to believe the Blues would win this game. After their embarrassing showing in Game 4 at home, Game 5 at Ball Arena was supposed to be a Colorado coronation — finally, the Avs would return to the conference final for the first time since 2002.

Then consider that down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, the Blues were down 3-0 in Game 5’s second period.

It was over. This column would be an obituary.

contnued

Below find Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post and the game highlights.

Stanley Cup champions are as stone cold as ice.

In a 5-4 overtime loss, when Colorado coughed up a three-goal lead and failed to eliminate St. Louis from the NHL playoffs, the Avs were as soft as butterscotch pudding.

What was revealed Wednesday night, which should have been a hat-tossing celebration of Nathan MacKinnon as the most electric hockey player in the world?

As talented as the Avs are, they haven’t learned how to close the deal. When they should’ve been the hammer, they were the nail. That’s on all of them, including coach Jared Bednar, who didn’t keep his foot on the gas when Colorado had a chance to end this best-of-seven series in Game 5.

“You’re either the hammer or the nail,” said Bednar, who lamented the Avalanche’s inability to maintain its aggression when playing with a late lead.

A less benevolent listener than me might think Bednar blamed his players, criticizing the Avs for dumping the puck too casually and not maintaining possession in the offensive zone. This Colorado team is built, from front to back, to pour it on, not protect the lead. So call me crazy, but shouldn’t the coach be responsible for hiding under a shell when the Blues started buzzing with desperation?

continued

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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