HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- When the dust settles and they shake off the sting of a sudden four-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals, the St. Louis Blues can take solace in the fact that a foundation has been laid and expectations will be higher moving forward.
The Blues accumulated the second-highest point total in franchise history with 109, changing coaches early this season after a 6-7 start before skyrocketing up the standings and winning the Central Division title for the first time since 2000 with a 49-22-11 record. They earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and were two points shy of winning the Presidents' Trophy.
But after dispatching the San Jose Sharks in impressive fashion in the first round, the Blues crashed and burned against the underrated Kings. Players had their exit meetings Monday and Tuesday, and they are now headed for a summer of working on taking the next step heading into the 2012-13 season.
"Yeah. A week and a half, two weeks ago, we just beat the San Jose Sharks and had the world in the palm of our hands," winger Chris Stewart said. "It was definitely not the way we saw ourselves going out. Obviously our goal was to win the Stanley Cup, but we came up short this year. There were some good things that did happen this year that can't go overlooked."