On January 3rd the St. Louis Blues were dead last in the NHL with a record of 15-17-4. Their goal differential was an abysmal -23 and their hopes at sneaking into a playoff spot looked as bleak as it gets. But here we are only 42 days later and St. Louis has leapfrogged eight teams, jumped in the top wildcard spot, and sit only two points behind Dallas for third in the Central. Here’s how they did it:
It’s no secret Ryan O’Reilly has been the team’s MVP through the first half of the season. The 27 year-old all-star leads the team in goals (18), assists (32), and points (50). But just how impressive and impactful has he been?
We all expected the Blues to come into this season and be Cup contenders. So far, they haven’t even come close to what our summer expectations were. They sit in 12th place in the Western Conference.
Vladimir Tarasenko, superstar of the Blues, has 10 goals and 21 points through the team’s first 32 games, good for second in points and third in goals among St. Louis skaters. His production is down from recent years, as he’s on pace for only about 54 points and 25 goals, which would be his first season in the last five without reaching the 30 goal plateau. Only 10 of these points have come at 5v5, making Vladdy’s production even more grim. Trading Tarasenko would be a huge mistake. Here's why.
Tyler Bozak wanted to sign a long-term deal this offseason. Doug Armstrong is knowingly overpaying him at a shorter term. Here's what you should expect from him.
Two years ago I wrote an article about whether Vladimir Tarasenko was on track to becoming one of the greatest Blues in history or not. To be honest, it’s still pretty early to give a definitive answer to this question, but it’s the perfect time to review his progression.
Every Blues fan has their own take on Jake Allen. Newly-signed backup Chad Johnson has a solid backup resume (including more consistent success in large roles than ex-Blue Carter Hutton). However, neither of these netminders elevate the team to the level that the forward core and top defensemen are ready to reach. Which leads me to this: the case for Ville Husso to start at least 25 games in 2018-19.
I've never felt this confident in a team that I've never seen play. Apparently Doug Armstrong has been studying wizardry in his free time because the moves he made this off-season were nothing short of wicked.
Frustration can be a great fuel for motivation. Last season's exciting start gave Blues fans high expectations, but a combination of inconsistent play and lack of heart seemed to erase whatever momentum the team began.
Blues hockey has been over for a couple months and I still can’t get over Brayden Schenn’s season. Even if he didn’t lead the team in points (which he did), at least the Blues weren’t paying Jori Lehtera $4.7 million to be outscored by Scottie Upshall and Kyle Brodziak.
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