After a disappointing 3-2 loss to Vancouver that put the Blues in a 3-0 hole in the playoff series, players revealed varying degrees of emotion. B.J. Crombeen was beside himself, saying that his penalty at the end of the second period “cost us the game.”
Keith Tkachuk was frustrated, saying “the power play is killing us.” Indeed, the Blues were 0-6 on the man advantage and are now 1-17 on the power play in the series.
Winger Cam Janssen was angry, saying “this is a different game. We have to understand that,” and adding that the Blues need everybody to play hard.
Coach Andy Murray, while not making excuses for the Blues’ youth, says that many players are nervous and squeezing their sticks. He said he called a play on the Blues first 5-on-3 of the night, but the players were nowhere near where they were supposed to be with the play he drew up.
Ultimately, Crombeen’s loss of composure, the frustration with the power play, the effort of the club and it’s comfort level are all attributes of a team that hasn’t played in the playoffs.
I’ve said for some time that just making the playoffs, even if they lose all four games, is good for the Blues. And I still believe that’s the case. Like Janssen said, the playoffs are a different game. And now players like Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie, David Perron, Carlo Colaiacovo and David Backes have that knowledge and experience. This is part of a process, not an event. And this playoff experience will benefit the Blues in the long run.