Stars coach Lindy Ruff wondered aloud if he shouldn’t have taken Kari Lehtonen out of Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Blues in Game 7 a little earlier than he did.
Ruff pulled Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi going into the second period, but by then it was already 3-0—and this doesn’t count a Vladimir Tarasenko goal that had been overturned on review.
“I think maybe it's on me. Maybe with that review and maybe looked like he got a little bit rattled,” Ruff said, per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. “I should've taken him out sooner. Yeah, maybe after the second one [I should have taken him out] because I already had a review on a goal I didn't like. You have one decision, so that's probably on me.”
Ruff wouldn’t pin blame on Lehtonen (or anyone else) after the loss, however.
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"Right now is not the time to assess blame,” he said. “You got to look at the whole picture. You got to take the fact you didn't score and you had some situations that you needed to score. If you're going to beat a good team, you need to score two at the same time. You need to put some of those situations away. Now is not the time for that. Now is the time to look at more of a bigger picture."