ST. LOUIS - A nagging injury kept Alexander Steen out of the Blues' lineup for all but one of the club's first-round games against the Vancouver Canucks, but the veteran leader said he was able to see what went wrong for the Blues in Edmonton.
"Our struggles were getting to the details of what makes our game so strong," Steen said during a season wrap up conference call with reporters on Monday morning. "Some of it was defensive, but I think the lack of offense led a little bit to the defensive aspects of it. (We were on an) accelerated timeline and we needed to be quicker to get to the punch and get to those details that make us such a strong team… It was hard. I thought the guys battled and worked and we were trying to get there, and we just couldn't for whatever reason."
The 2019 Stanley Cup champions were eliminated from the playoffs late Friday after a six-game series with the Canucks. The Blues won just two of the 10 games (including exhibition) they played in Edmonton, but that doesn't change Steen's feeling that the Blues will be legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup when hockey resumes next season.
Video: Steen after the season
"It was just a collective problem that I stated earlier of us not being able to find our rhythm, but in saying that, the regular season and how we looked throughout - and obviously with these unusual circumstances - but I'm very confident that the group might get back together and be hungry and strong and looking to have more success.
"I'm very proud of who we are a a team, and about how we play and how we take care of each other on and off the ice," Steen added. "There were definitely some things that normally don't happen in a regular season or playoffs. We've always been tight, we've grown even more compact as a group. That's also a big reason why we'll come back next season hungry and strong again."