There’s not much that can be said about Game 5. Like Game 4, the Blues had several opportunities to go out in front. Countless missed empty nets, bad changes and abysmal defending. It was more of the same in Game 5, but this time the Blues made it their mission to miss at least four – yes, four – empty nets.
Now the Blues are on the brink of elimination. Despite playing a really strong series, they’ve dropped three in a row. They’re the first to concede a loss on home ice. Now they must go to Chicago and win to force Game 7. It’s one of the most daunting tasks in the NHL.
The similarities to last year’s dud against LA are striking. The Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead through OT goals from Alexander Steen and Barret Jackman. They played strong hockey the next four games, but LA found ways to win. They played mediocre hockey but still won. The story is the same with Chicago. The Blackhawks were outplayed by a large margin in some of their victories, but they leaned on their star power and found wins.
How can the Blues come back? If I’m honest, I don’t think they can. They’re playing out the same script from last season. Just like they can’t bury a critical goal with the net gaping, they can’t close out a series against a tough opponent.