A ROYAL PAIN
St. Louis is black, blue and defeated after almost every tilt with the Kings
THE BLUES WISH California never existed. They went 1-8 against Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose last season, and the Kings bounced them in consecutive playo s before that.
In 2011-12, St. Louis enjoyed a breakout season under coach Ken Hitchcock only to be absolutely steamrolled in four straight games in the second round against the eighth-seeded Kings, who went on to win the Stanley Cup. The following year, when the teams met in Round 1, the Blues appeared to have learned from their previous battle, jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. The wily Kings, however, battled back with four straight victories, crushing the Blues’ dreams again. That second series in particu-
lar was known for being fast and vicious. That’s what happens when the likes of David Backes and Ryan Reaves butt heads with Dustin Brown and Dwight King. Every time the Blues and Kings play each other, the bodies fly all over the ice. The Kings don’t consider the Blues their nemesis, but they have St. Louis’ number.
The two teams meet Oct. 16, Dec. 16 and Dec. 18.