Predictions for the St. Louis Blues’ 2014-15 Season


Since the dawning of their birth in 1967, the St. Louis Blues have been a world-class organization. They have a rich history of players like Bernie Federko, Red Berenson, Mike Liut, Gary Unger, Brian Sutter, or even my heroes growing up like Al MacInnis, and arguably the greatest player in franchise history, Brett Hull. They have a deep history of making the playoffs, like going to the Stanley Cup finals in each of their first three seasons.

Perhaps my most notable heartbreak was the 95-96 season, the year of The Great One, where our starting goaltender, Grant Fuhr, was injured for the entire postseason. I think the Blues could’ve gone all the way that year. Unfortunately Fuhr’s backup, Jon Casey, just wasn’t up to the task at hand. Most definitely, the Blues have had a rich history. There’s only one thing a team could ask for that has eluded the St. Louis Blues for their entire history: a Stanley Cup championship.

I have to admit, When Tom Stillman and the rest of the new ownership took control of the Blues, I didn’t think they would do much for the team, but the events that occurred last season changed my mind. When the organization made a big move to bring Ryan Miller to St. Louis, I really came around to the new leadership. Though Ryan Miller ended up not being the answer we needed, it shed light on the fact that Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong were dedicated to taking risks and making big moves to send our team to the Finals. That didn’t change in the offseason.

Last season made it abundantly clear that a top-tier goaltender couldn’t save the Blues from their problems. Though Miller had a subpar performance, the early exit couldn’t be blamed on him. It was the complete lack of getting the biscuit in the basket. So this offseason Armstrong looked to address the situation of having a lack of scoring in postseason play and added a large amount of depth down the middle. Will it be enough? It just might. There is a catch, though.

Adding players like Paul Stastny and Jori Lehtera was a phenomenal idea. A few non-superstar players don’t make a team, not at all. But what it does is creates a lot more depth and offers the Blues a step ahead of others with the second, third, and even possibly our fourth line. We can now put someone like Patrik Berglund, who has struggled in his second line center duties, on the third line and put a stronger center on the second.

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What this does is actually give the Blues a more formidable third line for scoring. Depending on how the lines are set, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko should flourish with these changes. I expect huge things out of Schwartz and Tarasenko. Word of advice: they should both be great pick-ups for fantasy teams.

The catch is goaltending. I’m a huge fan of both Brian Elliott and Jake Allen. They both have done well for the team in their supporting roles. In Elliott’s three seasons as a Blue, he has a collective save percentage of .92 and a career .911 with 116 wins and 77 losses, which is excellent to say the least. My only concern is the new roles each will be playing. I’m not thinking negatively, I’m only saying: Is their mentality in the right place? I know they both have the physical talent to excel, I just hope they’re up the task of their new roles and elevated pressure.

With all that being said, I think the stinginess with Schwartz on finalizing a contract was to have extra money just in case Elliott and Allen are not up to the challenge. That way, there’s a bit of extra spending money to perhaps package in a trade that could bring a goaltender here to seal the deal. Just a thought, but I don’t see things staying the same beyond the trade deadline if goaltending is struggling big time before it passes.

So are the Blues ready to take that next step? Are they ready to move past the second round? Are they ready and equipped to win the Stanley Cup? I think so. I genuinely believe they are ready and the stage is set. We have the coaching, the management, the ownership, scoring, and quite possibly the goaltending. The quest for the cup is hard-fought, it will not be handed to them, but I believe it will be hoisted in the city of St. Louis in the next few years. Get ready boys and girls, and enjoy the show. LET’S GO BLUES!