As the month of February fizzles out, the NHL will focus on the March 5th trade deadline. The St. Louis Blues could make some interesting changes to the lineup, should they elect to do so. Do you think the St. Louis Blues should make a few changes to the roster? If so, who do you think should be on the chopping block? Should the St. Louis Blues make any trades by the March 5th trade deadline?
Prior to the Olympics, rumors stirred that the Blues were thinking of swapping Forward, Chris Stewart (#25) and/or Goaltender, Jaroslav Halak (#41) for Goaltender, Ryan Miller (#30) of the Buffalo Sabres and/or Right Wing and Captain of the New York Rangers, Ryan Callahan. When these rumors surfaced, social media avenues erupted in a frenzy with many Blues fans shouting out their opinions on either side of the spectrum.
While I agree that Chris Stewart has not been playing up to the coaching staff or fans’ expectations, we cannot deny that he is a big part of the Blues whose teammates enjoy having him on the team. Unfortunately he has not been as consistent in the game at a time that the Blues need consistency and focus from each of the players while on or off the ice. Who can forget Stewart’s hot streak during the 2012-2013 hockey season, only to fizzle out in the post season by getting only one point for an assist in the May 2, 2013, game against the L.A. Kings? It seems as if the moment he signed his two-year extension with the Blues in 2013 that he is no longer willing to put the pressure where it is needed, push himself to the limits and consistently play as the St. Louis Blues player that we all loved to watch last season. I think Stewart has a lot to prove this season, if it is not too late already. Could the leadership team be considering to trade Stewart in the next few weeks? Hopefully he has taken this break from the regular season to refocus and pump up his determination to be a Blue and play hard for his team. What do you think? Do you think he has what it takes to stay or should he go?
Some of the trade rumors focused on our inconsistent goaltending problem that we are experiencing this season. Halak seems to be Coach Ken Hitchcock’s number one choice for Goaltender with a record of 24-8-4. He has proven that he has the ability to be the number one goalie; however, he has stumbled and failed to stop a number of interesting shots in the regular season. Halak has also struggled during his time as Goaltender for Team Slovakia during the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. His troubles began when his team played Team USA on February 13th. Halak was able to stop 11 of 12 shots in the first period but allowed 4 goals in the second period, including one by fellow Blues Captain, David Backes. Team Slovakia chose to swap Halak for Goaltender, Peter Budaj (#31) for the remainder of the game. Unfortunately, this was not enough to save the game for Team Slovakia, as they were defeated by Team USA (7-1). Team Slovakia failed to advanced in to the quarterfinals, as they were defeated by Team Czech.
We are starting the tail end of the 2014 regular hockey season at the top and want to stay there, so we push into the post season with enough momentum and determination to bring the Stanley Cup back to St. Louis for the very first time in franchise history. Should the Blues take a chance and make a last minute trade or should we stick with the players that we have and work on increasing our stamina, focus and teamwork?
While we have no idea what the St. Louis Blues’ leadership team has in mind for the next few weeks, we can always speculate who we think would fit best on the team and who we can risk to lose. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for any announcements made by the NHL and the St. Louis Blues. The guys will soon be back on schedule after the Winter Olympics end (hopefully with Team USA winning the gold). I look forward to watching the Blues as they start off the later part of the season by immediately starting a three-game road trip starting with the Vancouver Canucks at the Rogers Arena on February 26th at 9:30 p.m. CT. Let’s Go Team USA & St. Louis Blues! #longlivethenote