We waited 82 games. We powered through injuries. We yelled at our T.V.s. We did that weird dance when we were on a power play. It's finally time for the Blues to enter the 2016 NHL playoffs.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Me? I've already shivered a couple times while writing this. I'm so excited to see how big of a dent the Blues put in the postseason this year. The players are insisting this year is different than the others. Let's hope so.
Both St. Louis and Chicago reached over 100 points this season. St. Louis (107) is the second seed in the Central, while Chicago (103) is the third. IMO, neither of these teams should be eliminated in the first round, but that's what will happen in the best-of-seven series.
Duncan Keith will miss game one because he slashed somebody in the face. Yes... again. While he's in timeout the Blues need to take advantage of the the Hawks missing their best defenseman. Game one will set the series' tone. A Blues win will allow them to head into Chicago tied (at least) or up 2-0 (hopefully). Let's remember that winning the first two games doesn't mean we'll win the series: 2013 and 2014.
The Blues are finally healthy— they had their fist practice with EVERYBODY on the roster skating on Tuesday, April 12. That's pretty crazy. Now we will bite our nails as Hitchcock arranges lines and inevitably sits players who we've seen in recent games.
It looks like Brian Elliott will be the started goalie. At least for game one. It's nice knowing Jake Allen can hop in if Elliott is struggling. I'm just hoping Hitch doesn't play goalie-roulette this series.
Here are the projected lines for Game 1:
Schwartz- Lehtera- Tarasenko
Fabbri- Stastny- Brouwer
Berglund- Steen- Backes
Upshall- Brodziak- Reaves
Wednesday, April 13, 8:30 p.m. (FS-MW, NBCSN) at STL
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. (FS-MW, NBCSN) at STL
Sunday, April 17, 2 p.m. (NBC) at CHI
Tuesday, April 19, 8:30 p.m. (FS-MW, NBCSN) at CHI
* Game 5
Thursday, April 21, (TBD) at STL
* Game 6
Saturday, April 23, (TBD) at CHI
* Game 7
Monday, April 25, (TBD) at STL
* -- if necessary
Here's Alex Pietrangelo, David Backes, Alexander Steen, and Vladimir Tarasenko:
Here's Paul Stastny, Ken Hitchcock, and Troy Brouwer:
Our Playoff pump-up video:
Blues OT comeback: Roar Bacon highlights (Nov. 4, 2015)
This next week (hopefully month) will be extremely entertaining, as playoffs tend to be. We will be hosting a Blues Buzz watch party for one of the away games, giving away shirts & phone cases, and much more.
STAY IN TOUCH!