Blues Blackhawks Hockey

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

Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium

Leave a comment

The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.

Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.

The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)

Here are the full rosters:


NBCSN will broadcast the alumni game nationally in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have it in Canada.

The 2016 Winter Classic will be played the next day (on NBC).

Goalie nods: Andersen’s ‘flu-like symptoms’ mean Khudobin starts versus Flames

Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen
Leave a comment

With Frederik Andersen experiencing “flu-like symptoms” (PHT diagnosis: it might be the flu), the Anaheim Ducks will turn to backup Anton Khudobin for tonight’s home game versus Calgary.

Khudobin could, in turn, be backed up by Josh Gibson, recalled today from AHL San Diego. The Ducks have officially listed Andersen as “questionable.”

Khudobin (3-3-0, .917) has not started a game in over a week. His last action came exactly a week ago, after Andersen got the hook versus Nashville.

Andersen may or may not travel with the Ducks for tomorrow’s game at Arizona.

The Ducks, of course, are coming off a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay, a result that produced the following quote from Ryan Kesler:

After a four-game winning streak to start November, Anaheim has since dropped five of its last seven.

Karri Ramo will be in net for the Flames. After a terrible start to the season, he’s been much better lately, allowing just eight goals combined in his last four starts.


Craig Anderson for the Senators. Antti Niemi for the Stars.

Torts: Jackets still need more ‘bite’

John Tortorella

The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.

The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.

Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.

“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”

The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.


— The Canucks need ‘more bite’

The Rangers are better when they have ‘more bite’

Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer


The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.

Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.

The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.

According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.

“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”

In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.

Related: Where’s the depth in San Jose?