The Blues closed the campaign with six straight losses and scored just five goals over that span. They were shut out for the final 143:59 minutes of the regular season.
A big part of their collapse was the result of injuries. The list of injured Blues forwards includes Patrik Berglund, Brenden Morrow, Vladimir Sobotka, T.J. Oshie, David Backes, and Vladimir Tarasenko. Either way, the Blues losing streak means that they will have to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round and they are a tough adversary even under the best of circumstances.
Petr Mrazek picked up the shutout for Detroit by stopping 23 Blues shots. The 22-year-old netminder made his eighth career start so that Jimmy Howard could rest before the Red Wings playoff series against Boston. Ryan Miller turned aside 18 of 21 shots for St. Louis.
Justin Abdelkader scored two goals, including the game-winner.
Pavel Datsyuk had two assists, making this his first multi-point game since he returned from a knee injury.
Kyle Turris was far from an accomplished NHLer when he requested a trade out of the Coyotes organization. In fact, when he was dealt to the Senators in 2011, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft had just 46 points in 137 NHL games.
Since then, Turris has emerged as Ottawa’s top center, with the promise of a big payday in the summer of 2018 when his current $17.5 million deal expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
It’s for that very reason that he can understand Jonathan Drouin‘s position with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.”
Though Turris, now 26, took a “lot of heat from the media…and people within the organization” and recalls the time after his trade request was made public as a “tough, tough go,” he believes the opportunity he received with the Sens “saved” him.
As we’ve written in the past, you don’t have to agree with how Drouin is handling things — maybe it ends up hurting him; he still has a lot to prove — but there have been young players who have chosen similar paths, and it’s worked out well for them.
Drouin, by the way, has 40 points in 89 NHL games.