The St. Louis Blues have been through their fair share of ups and downs this season. Coach Ken Hitchcock has told the local media that he believes the struggles the team had at certain points of this season will help them in the playoffs, but who will be the hero for the Blues this year?
Brian Elliott has had an incredible April and has shown that he still has the ability to lead this St. Louis Blues team. After what happened last season in the second round, Elliott has something to prove to both the Los Angeles Kings and the fans of the St. Louis Blues. If Elliott falters at any point, don’t be surprised to see Jaroslav Halak back in net for the Note.
Jay Bouwmeester will be making his playoff debut in the NHL tomorrow night and could prove to be a major difference maker for the team. With Bouwmeester in the lineup the Blues seem to have more confidence and Alex Pietrangelo has more room to play his game. Could Bowmeester be the star of the playoffs this season? Maybe, but without the experience of being in the postseason before, don’t be surprised if Bouwmeester makes a few big mistakes.
David Backes is the fearless leader of the Blues and will need to be ready to play a very physical game for the rest of the season. Backes’ presence on the ice needs to be known at all times and look for him to finish all of his checks. If Backes can use his body as a weapon, he could be the player who stands out at the end of the year as the guy who made it all possible. Look for Backes to put his best effort forward.
Another candidate is Chris Stewart. Coming on a hot shortened season, Stewart and the skill and size to be a guy that is made for the playoffs. With his wicked backhander and big checks, Stewart could be the hero for the Blues. Look for Stewie to show his size, but the true measure of his play will be how many pucks he puts in the back of the net.
Vladimir Tarasenko came out of the gate extremely hot this season but has fallen off since his great start. His skill and experience could help him to be a difference maker in the playoffs, but will his rookie status hold him back? Let’s hope that Tarasenko can put up big numbers and help lead the Blues to victory.
There is no telling how much longer the Blues’ season will last, but, no matter the outcome, one player will come out on top and be the guy that stands out as the clear leader of this team in the postseason. Tune in tomorrow night as the Blues faceoff against the Kings.
LET’S GO BLUES!