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Poll: What is the most painful playoff loss in Blues history?


Sorry for the depressing poll question, Blues fans. I just feel like this team doesn’t get enough respect when there’s a debate on tortured fan bases.

Not that the Blues’ faithful has suffered like, say, fans of the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908. But consider:

— In the NHL, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone as long without winning the Stanley Cup as the Blues. Toronto last won it in 1967. The Blues, of course, have never won the Cup since entering the league for the 1967-68 season.

— The Blues went to the Stanley Cup Final in the first three years of their existence, thanks in large part to the NHL’s expansion format that had all six new teams in one division. In 1968 and 1969, they were swept by Montreal in the final. In 1970, they were swept by the Boston Bruins, with the winning goal by Bobby Orr producing one of the most famous sports images ever.

— The Blues made the playoffs 25 straight times from 1980 to 2004. The best they could muster during that impressive streak was two trips to the conference finals, in 1986 and 2001, where they lost in seven to Calgary and five to Colorado, respectively.

— The Blues won the Presidents’ Trophy in 1999-2000, finishing with a record of 51-19-11-1. They then proceeded to get upset by San Jose in the first round.

— Since 2002, the Blues have won a grand total of one — yep, one — playoff series. This despite making the postseason six times, twice after 100-plus-point seasons, which includes last season.

OK, time to vote. If I’ve omitted a particularly painful playoff moment, please share in the comments section.

Update: Totally whiffed on the Steve Yzerman goal in 1996. What can I say? There have been a lot of tough losses for St. Louis. To be fair, that ’96 Blues team didn’t have a great regular-season record, and beating Detroit would’ve been a massive upset. They did have Wayne Gretzky, though. So I blew it. Apologies.

Related: Looking to make the leap: Jori Lehtera

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.