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not winning at the appropriate time o

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    5 listopada 2018 05:45:53 GMT

    ST. Mike Cammalleri Jersey . LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues won a franchise record 52 games this season and general manager Doug Armstrong cant help but sum it up as a disappointment. "Were in the winning business and were not winning at the appropriate time of the year," Armstrong said Tuesday. "We have to fix that." The past two playoffs have been a carbon copy for the Blues. In 2013, St. Louis won the first two games against Los Angeles at home and then dropped the next four to the then-defending Stanley Cup champions. This season, St. Louis got the jump on defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, then again lost four straight to end the season. Armstrong said that this years loss to the Blackhawks was worse. "I felt last year that we were coming off of a year where no one expected us to be good the year before and we wanted to prove that we were a good team," Armstrong said. "I expected us to take it to a higher level this year and the higher level was going to be a consistent regular season followed by a longer playoff run. So, this year, theres a true sense that we have squandered an opportunity and opportunities dont come a lot in this league." While the Blues have been one of the best teams each of the past three regular seasons -- St. Louis had 60 points in a lockout shortened 2012-13 campaign and 109 points in 2011-12 -- it has been a different story in April. Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock said that the Blues need to develop a killer instinct if they are to get over their post-season hump. "We werent able to create the gap in Games 3 and 4 and win on the road, which you have to do in the playoffs," Hitchcock said. "Thats the killer instinct that you need to have. We werent able to do it in either series, and it hurts. "Thats everyones responsibility. Mine, Dougs, the players, other coaches, everybody. Thats the part that hurts. We couldnt apply the killer instinct in Games 3 and 4 when we needed to in both years." Several players have been a part of the past three seasons, and figure to be part of the puzzle moving forward: forwards T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen and David Backes, and defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo. Armstrong said it his responsibility to see if this core group can get to a new level or whether changes are needed. "I look at the regular season success this team has had over the last three years," Armstrong said "I think our point total is probably in the top three or four in the NHL over that time frame. So, were doing some things correctly. But were not doing enough correctly to win in April, May and June. Quite honestly, I got to quit worrying about May. We got to get out of April first and were not doing that." One area that will need to be addressed is goaltending. The Blues thought they had added the final piece when the traded for Ryan Miller just before the deadline. But Miller, who is a free agent, allowed 19 goals against the Blackhawks and his save percentage was just .897. Armstrong said that Jake Allen, who had another strong year in the American Hockey League, will be one of the teams net minders. Who the will partner with Allen is up in the air. "Its a two-way street with Ryan right now," Armstrong said. "He has opportunities. I want to sit and talk with him and get his feelings about our organization. See where he thinks were at, see if he even has any interest in being a St. Louis Blue." Wayne Gretzky Jersey . -- Isaiah Pead took a stutter step forward, then raced to the left sideline and travelled 60 yards up the field before finally getting tripped up by a leg tackle. Jonny Brodzinski Jersey . -- After a year spent travelling the world, Brooks Koepka suddenly is in a position to play a lot more golf at home.SAN DIEGO -- Utah State allowed two 100-yard rushers all season long. Jordan Lynch, the all-purpose Heisman Trophy finalist from Northern Illinois, failed to make it into that exclusive club. The Aggies swarming defence made Lynch look average during a 21-14 victory over No. 24 Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday night. Safety Brian Suite intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble by Lynch, who was bottled up for only 39 yards rushing. That kept him from becoming the first major college player to rush for 2,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in the same season. Utah State stymied a Huskies offence that had averaged nearly 42 points a game. "The only thing we do every week is not stop the run game, but eliminate the run game," USU coach Matt Wells said. "But obviously he is a big part of the run game, so we were able to eliminate him, make him one-dimensional and then we were able to actually find a way to run the football, which makes them one-dimensional, and the ballgame is ours." Joey DeMartino, who went to high school and junior college in San Diego, carried 23 times for 143 yards and a touchdown for Utah State (9-5). He was the offensive MVP. "The feelings unreal," DeMartino said. "I couldnt ask for a better senior game to go out on and to be in front of my hometown, my family, my friends and everyone who supported me out here." DeMartino said the Aggies wanted to bounce back from a loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West Conference championship game. "We took a hard loss there," DeMartino said. "Thats not how we play. We just wanted to come back and prove to the nation that we can compete every game and we did just that." Lynch was third in the Heisman Trophy voting and made The Associated Press All-America team as an all-purpose player. He extended his major college record for yards rushing for a quarterback in a season to 1,920. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 216 yards and was sacked twice. Lynch ran for a touchdown and passed for another for NIU (12-2), which ended the season with two straight losses. The Huskies were coming off a 20-point loss to Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference title game that cost them a BCS bid. "We gave it the 24-hour rule," Lynch said. "The carpet got pulled out from under uus losing to Bowling Green and thinking about going to a BCS game. Luc Robitaille Jersey. But we got a chance to play a great opponent in Utah State. I thought we had a great three weeks of practice. We came out with a lot of energy and had fun. All the credit goes to Utah State. Lynchs pass was intercepted on the first play of the third quarter by Suite, setting up a go-ahead, 5-yard touchdown pass from Darrel Garretson to Brandon Swindall. The Aggies put it away when DeMartino scored on a 1-yard run with 4:14 to go for a 21-7 lead. It capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 7:19. "We had to find a way to keep wearing them down and Im going to tell you what -- we imposed our will on them at the end of the game," Wells said. "On that one drive to make it 21-7, that was more of an issue that they had been out there all night because the offence couldnt do a thing," NIU coach Rod Carey said. NIU punted four times, had two turnovers, two missed field goals and relinquished possession on downs one time. "We werent able to move it like we normally do," Carey said. Lynch threw a 5-yard scoring pass to Juwan Brescacin with 1:44 left to pull NIU to 21-14. NIU tried an onside kicked that USU recovered. There were four turnovers and three missed field goals. The game drew only 23,408 to 70,000-seat Qualcomm Stadium, the lowest attendance in the bowls nine-year history. Suite also recovered Lynchs fumble in the first quarter. NIUs first five series in the second half ended with an interception, three punts and a missed field goal. "We had our chances," Lynch said. "We had our chances to make some plays and score some points. We were in the red zone three times or so and we didnt come away with points. We just didnt capitalize on it." The teams staggered through an unimpressive first half that included a missed field goal by each team, a shanked punt by NIU and a lost fumble by Lynch. Lynch scored on a 1-yard run with 8:17 left in the second quarter to cap a 15-play, 78-yard drive and give NIU a 7-6 lead. Lynch ended NIUs second possession by losing a fumble at midfield. Utah State responded with a 31-yard field goal by Nick Diaz. NIUs Mathew Sims was wide right on a 37-yard field goal attempt and DeMartino had a 58-yard run to set up Diazs 39-yard field goal. 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