After a slow start to their 2013 NHL campaign, one that saw their trademark abundance of goaltending produce subpar results, the St. Louis Blues rebounded in the second half of the season and secured the No. 4 seed in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Western Conference. Last season, that goaltending and tight, systematic defense earned them a second seed, but in the playoffs they ran into the upstart Los Angeles Kings and fell in the second round. This season’s team is free of the lofty expectations that weighed on them last year, but what they still have is solid blue-line character and an 11-3 record heading into the 2013 NHL Playoffs. They never had much of a shot at their division title, as they play in the same group as the Chicago Blackhawks (and their historic streak this season).
At the trade deadline, the Blues traded for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary, and his performance has anchored their trademark stingy performance; for an average NHL Offense like St. Louis has, they rely on goal prevention in between and in front of the pipes to keep them in games and a series like this one. The Blues are hoping to improve the track record against the Kings that they established this season, where they have failed to avenge their playoff loss in three meetings. While the Los Angeles Kings have talent up front and on their own blue line to challenge St. Louis, look for goaltender Brian Elliot of the Blues to be the most important factor in this series. If he can match the success of the Kings’ Jonathon Quick – who was the NHL playoff MVP last season – the St. Louis Blues have a chance of advancing in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The St. Louis Blues were 0-3 against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2013 NHL regular season, including two losses at the Scottrade Center. With home ice advantage in the first round of the 2013 NHL Playoffs, the Blues are hoping to improve their performance and earn a different result than last season.