The view from St. Louis - LA Kings Insider

The St. Louis Blues were hungry for revenge. Upset with the Kings — and particularly Dwight King, whose hit took top defenseman Alex Pietrangelo out of the lineup for Game 2 — the Blues came out hitting. That’s understandable,. Problem is, at some points the Blues seemed more concerned about hitting the Kings than beating them. The Blues delivered a series of teeth-rattling hits, but the Kings didn’t wilt. Yes, the Blues sit a physical tone in the first period, but they also recorded only five shots on goal and allowed four goals. That’s not a formula for success. Count on that changing in Game 3. The Blues made their statement, and knocked the Kings around, but the Blues are more effective when they simply forecheck aggressively and fight for loose pucks. The Blues have to find some answers, particularly on the power play, and they can’t afford another period like the first period last night. Here’s how the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Belleville News-Democrat covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Blues…

St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Blues coverage

Belleville News-Democrat’s Blues coverage

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COACH KEN HITCHCOCK

(on the game…) “In the playoffs, it’s one loss, so you move on. I think there are some obvious things that we have to address. Power play is costing us in a big way. We’re going to have to address that again. It’s hurting us. Shorthanded goals build a lot of momentum. We’ve had two shorthanded goals in the two games, taking away our momentum. Careless plays by us. And full marks to them. Their emotional investment in the first period was greater than ours. We started to play later, but you don’t know how much they’re sitting back, so it’s a hard read for them. And their goalie was good again. We pounded a lot of shots in the last two periods, but still, we only scored two goals. We’ve got to invest a lot more, early in the game. And like I said, that’s the nice part about playoffs. It’s one game, it’s one loss. Move on.”

(on the game…) “They’re full marks. They checked us hard. They checked us hard and we coughed up the puck. We made mistakes. To me, the first goal was a perfect example. The game is at a furious pace, and we’ve just got to get it deep, and we try to make an extra play. We’re trying to create something from nothing, and next thing you know, we’re picking it out of our net. That’s an attitude. We’re trying to force offense. The way we finished Game 1 is the same way we started Game 2. We’re trying to force offense when it’s not there. They’re pressing up, and we’ve just got to make them turn, like we did in the second and third period. When you try to force offense, you try to play east-west. Against this team, they check too well, and they just turned the puck right up on us, three times, and two were in the net.’’

(on the status of injured defenseman Alex Pietrangelo…) “He’s day-to-day. He’s tried it today, and he’s still sore. It’s a big hole. Not a lot different if they lost Doughty. Same thing. But I think, with the full two days off, hopefully he’s good to go. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play today, but we need him back in the lineup if we’re going to… Our job, right now, is to come back to our fans here. That’s our job. Win one of the next two games, to get it back here. We’ve played awful well on the road in the playoffs. Like I said, it’s only one loss. It doesn’t feel good right now. The first period doesn’t feel good. The way we played on the power play doesn’t feel good. We’ve got two days to regroup here and put our best foot forward. All you can do is ask for your best, and today was not our best. Today’s first period was not our best. We need to make amends for ourselves.’’

(on the status of injured goalie Jaroslav Halak…) “Jaro is out for the series. He won’t play in the series.’’

—–

T.J. OSHIE

(on the game…) “It was just a bad start. Guys weren’t ready to go, and they were. We knew they were going to be coming out firing, getting that first (win) under their belt and having a chance to win two and go back to their barn for the second two. They just came out firing, and we weren’t ready, physically and mentally. Most importantly, mentally. We need to be smarter. We need to work smarter.’’

(on the frustration with the poor start…) “It’s very frustrating, because we know our game plan. We know what we need to do when we are successful, and we didn’t do that here tonight. It should be a staple of our game, to get the puck deep and play good team defense, and that was nowhere to be found in the first period.’’

(on the Blues’ power play…) “We need to win the special-teams battle. Quick is a great goaltender, but you can score goals on him. We’ve seen people score goals on him. We have in the past. We’ve just got to get to him. He’s hot right now. We’ve got to get traffic, more shots, and hopefully we can squeak a couple ugly ones in.’’

—–

DAVID BACKES

(on the game…) “If we play like we did tonight, with not enough guys going, it’s going to be tough to win wherever we are. If we’re playing on the moon, we’re not going to win.’’

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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