Saturday, October 4, 2014

St. Louis Blues Season Preview 2014-15

The past few seasons the Blues have been a solid regular season team but end up shooting themselves in the foot in the play offs. A big problem they've had was goaltending, they got Ryan Miller at the trade deadline last season but he's gone again.

Off Season: 
The Blues added a fantastic player in Paul Statsny during the off season. Statsny put up 60pts last season and should help the Blues already strong offensive unit. A big loss the Blues are facing is Sobotka who left to play in the KHL. That's going to hurt the Blues.

Offense is the least of the Blues worries. I think their top line of Steen, Backes and Oshie will stay together even though they added Statsny. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tarasenko's numbers to jump up as long as his injured hand doesn't act up. 

The Blue's defense is also solid. They have a good top pairing in Bouwmeester and Pietrangelo. Behind those guys they have Kevin Shattenkirk who lead the Blue's D-Corp with 10 goals and 26 powerplay points. Barret Jackman is getting older and with the talented offense in front of him, he'll be able to focus more on the defensive zone. 

This has been a huge problem for the Blues lately. Ryan Miller didn't help them out much in his short stint there. Rather than going out and getting a big goaltender, the Blues decided to go with the tandem of Brian Elliot and Jake Allen. Elliot just signed a big extension which should be a nice confidence booster for him. Although he hasn't been a regular number 1 tendy in the past, it's his time to step up now and I think he'll be able to. 

Positives: There shouldn't be any worry for the Blues when it comes to making the post season. They have a solid offensive and defensive cores that have lead them in the past few years. I expect to see another big season out of of Oshie, the American hero.

Negatives: If for some reason Elliot and Allen don't pan out, STL will be in major trouble. Once the Blues make it to the play offs I think it will just be a matter of how far they can go. They definitely gave the Blackhawks a run for their money last season. I wouldn't be surprised to see them make it to the Western Conference Championship.

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