May 10 postgame quotes: St. Louis

Hitchcock, on whether the team’s inability to finish cost the team in Game 6:
“I think that’s probably the story of the series. I would say for us, missed opportunities. We had a lot of people play very hard, but didn’t get timely goals. That’s what playoffs are. Goaltending is a big part of it. I thought the best player of the series was their goalie. In the end he made the big saves. When we had the five or six close chances today, he made the big saves.”

Hitchcock, on Dustin Penner’s goal with two-tenths of a second remaining in the second period:
“It’s a cast of errors. We didn’t get the puck deep twice when we had a chance to clear. We didn’t check the right player, and it went off our stick. You can’t blame Elliott on that. That was a complete deflection and went up almost four feet from where the original shot was. But we didn’t get it cleared. We had it twice to get cleared and we panicked with the puck and it ended up in our net.”

Hitchcock, on what he tells his team, given the way they competed:
“What I’m going to tell them is it’s not good enough. If you want to be a champion, it’s not good enough. You can’t allow the goalie to outwork you…If you want to be a champion, you’re going to have to find a way. We’re a pretty hungry group here from management to coaches to put a championship team together, and it’s not good enough. And we can lament on missed opportunities and how hard we played. We really bought in for the last two months in a big way, which gave us a real good feeling about ourselves. But you get opportunities like this, like we did in Game 3 and we did in Game 5 and again tonight, you can’t miss those opportunities. I hope our players when they pause and reflect about it are really, really pissed off and disappointed in the opportunity that we missed here because we didn’t finish. We took everything to the beach but we didn’t finish putting it in the water and that’s going to be disappointing, and we’re going to have to live with that for the rest of the summer.”

Hitchcock, on how long the “window” is open:
“I think it’s open now, but we have to look at ourselves a little bit. We’ve counted on – like adding Bouwmeester and Leopold really enhanced our hockey club. They really helped us. They brought us composure and compete and big minutes. They really helped us. But the people that we count on that we’ve grown [we need] to play better for us to get to the next level, quite frankly. We need more from the people that are homegrown, and that’s something that we’ll address in the offseason and in conversations with each individual. But that’s what we need. We need the homegrown guys, the guys that we’ve built around to get to the next level.”

Hitchcock, on whether he’s surprised with the lack of production by certain players in the series:
“Yeah. That’s a small difference. But there’s a big difference between playoffs and regular season. A big difference. I just felt like we allowed a goalie to outwork us. I know it’s the most important position in our sport, but…you just can’t allow that to happen if you want to get to the next level.”

David Backes, on the Game 6 loss:
“We hit a few posts and a couple sitting right there in the crease. It’s beginning to be a broken record. We didn’t get the job done. It’s about winning four games to win the series. We were up to 2-0 and to lose four straight it’s pretty sour right now. All the little things you think about that you can do better to get the result the other way. This team was hot going into the playoffs, added pieces at the deadline. We took on some big players and we were expecting better than this. I don’t know what the next step is, but right now it’s just sour.”

Backes, on Dustin Penner’s goal:
“On the road, a tied game going into the third, you’re okay with that knowing that you are sticking around for your chance but with 0.2 seconds left – on that play you’re just kicking yourself. Those are the little things that get magnified and make a difference in playoff hockey. We had spurts in the third period. Both teams were playing a little tired. To dig down and really empty the tank is what we really needed to do to find a way to get one to go in. They did a good job defending. They dug deeper than we did tonight. The fate is we’re going home and they are continuing on.”

Brian Elliott, on Dustin Penner’s goal:
“It was a deflection and even off the post and in. It evens out in the wash but we didn’t get another chance to throw stuff in the wash. I saw it come off because it was going low first. What can you say? You can’t put blame on him for trying to get in front of the puck. We’re all trying to do our best out there. Obviously, we’re all frustrated that had to be the one goal we couldn’t get back.”

Elliott, on Game 6:
“I thought we put a really good effort in. That’s what’s more frustrating. We thought we played really well. We had our chances. We played the game we wanted to play. We just didn’t come up with the goal support. Whenever your season ends, it’s going to bother you. You have to reflect on this right now. We will just have to let it soak in and figure things out for next time.”

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