This Day in St. Louis Sports History: April 13


April 13, 2014: injury-riddled St. Louis Blues squad delivers lethargic effort in 3-0 loss

On this day one year ago, the St. Louis Blues suffered a momentum-killing 3-0 loss against the Detroit Red Wings in their 2013-14 regular season finale. In front of a crowd of 18,430 assembled for Fan Appreciation Day, the Blues utilized a less-than-impressive lineup that was missing eight of their regular skaters (David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Barret Jackman, Brenden Morrow, T.J. Oshie, Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Sobotka, and Vladimir Tarasenko) while those players dealt with injuries. In their place, a host of guys who had been bit players at best throughout the regular season, including Carlo Colaiacovo, Keith Aucoin, Ty Rattie, Dmitrij Jaskin, Ian Cole, Chris Porter, Magnus Paajarvi, and Adam Cracknell, got into the lineup, and they weren’t able to rise to the challenge at either end of the ice.

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As if the injuries among the skaters weren’t enough, goalie Ryan Miller didn’t exactly impress, either, as he gave up three goals on 21 Detroit shots. Miller’s performance against Detroit (and the Blues’ other late season opponents) led to some questions about whether they would still rely on him, but the team ultimately stuck with him for their first-round series loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a move that coach Ken Hitchcock openly acknowledged regretting during the offseason, saying that backup Brian Elliott‘s performance should have made him a more viable option in net.

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The shutout loss in the season finale arguably set the tone for the Blues’ early exit against the Blackhawks. If there was one positive to be taken away from it, it may have been the positive impression that Porter and Cracknell left, which allowed them to be part of the Blues’ playoff lineup. Cracknell, who delivered the first goal of the playoffs on an assist by Porter, had three shots and five assists against Detroit, while Porter, who added a goal of his own during the Blues’ Game 2 win over Chicago, had a team-leading six hits against the Red Wings.

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