St Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

Opening round loss an opportunity missed for Blues


The St. Louis Blues had the defending Stanley Cup champions on the ropes early in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final. But they couldn’t put them down for the count.

The Blues lost Game 6 of the series by a final score of 2-1 on Friday night, and were eliminated from the post-season, losing the series 4-2.

The Blues won the first two games of the series, but lost the final four.

“You get opportunities like this, like we did in Game 3 and 5 and again tonight, you can’t miss those opportunities,” said Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock, according to a pair of tweets (here and here) from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“I hope our players, when they pause & reflect on it, are really pissed off. Disappointed in opportunity we missed here.”

One point of concern was the Blues’ inability to get pucks on net. St. Louis had 21 missed shots in Game 6, and could not get anything at the Kings goal when they needed to the most.

And when the Blues’ shots were on target, Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick got in the way.

Quick was sensational again in Game 6, making several key stops during the game.

And then there was Dustin Penner’s winning goal, which came with 0.2 seconds remaining in the second period on a slap shot that deflected off the stick of Blues’ defenseman Roman Polak and past Brian Elliott.




Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.