7 games into the season, you say?
5-1-1 record currently sitting 2nd in the Central Division, you say?
Already beat the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks twice ,you say?
Starting my first post for VFTP with rhetorical questions because I wasn’t really quite sure what to write?
Segues aside, I blame those selfish Cardinals for the tardiness, as they have selfishly captured my attention, as well as the attention of the whole city of St. Louis during the start of the Blues season. (Only kidding. Birds.)
The scrappy, defensive-minded Blues are back for a full 82 game season and as usual are ready to get over the playoff hump that has plagued them for the past two seasons. The Blues “young” core is basically still intact, with the exception of an out-of-nowhere trade of David Perron for Oilers’ 22-year-old winger, Magnus Paajarvi (pronounced something like Pee Harvey but I’m sure we’ll get plenty of mispronunciations from Panger throughout the season). I’m sure that Paajarvi will fit right into Coach Hitchcock’s plans.
Defense has always been the theme of the Hitchcock system and the blue-liners should be solid for the next few seasons as four defensemen (Leopold, Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester, and Pietrangelo) signed multi-year contract extensions. The front office also brought in some veteran presence with the additions of Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow to enlighten the younger players.
That enlightenment will be the one of keys to the younger Blues’ success this season – another is to stay healthy. Good health would be ideal for second year forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who suffered a concussion towards the end of last season and sat out for three weeks. The highly talented, goal-scoring sophomore is looking to have a breakout year after high expectations fell short during his rookie campaign, probably due to the concussion. Tarasenko and other second year player, Jaden Schwartz, will both provide offensive sparks throughout the year.
At the end of last season, the Blues organization parted ways with its long time AHL affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, and are currently in affiliation with the Chicago Wolves (along with the St. Charles Chill!!!!). I have a feeling the Wolves will be pretty decent this season too, with the anticipated prospects Ty Rattie and Dmitrij Jaskin on their starting rosters. However, if an injury were to occur with the Blues, they’re the first names that will be discussed to fill any holes I’m sure, since both are natural playmakers with high goal scoring potential.
Anyways, enough with the stuff I should’ve covered 7 games ago, but like I said, Birds. (Disclaimer this post would’ve been completed before their 7th game but I got distracted watching Game 6 of the NLCS)
Tired of writing, going to just throw out some stats now…
– Alex Steen leads the team in points (11) and goals (7)
– Jaroslav Halak broke the Blues franchise shutout record (now 17) held by Glenn Hall
Pangerism of the Night
“Gave him the ol’ stinky left leather mit”
– referring to a scrum during stoppage when a player jabs another in the face but no real fighting occurs.
Should be another solid season for the Blues. LGB.