The St. Louis Blues concluded the 2016-17 with 99 points. That was good for third place in the Central Division and the team’s sixth straight ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For the second time in three years, the St. Louis Blues will play the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Mike Yeo, who has led the Blues to a 22-8-2 record since taking over as head coach, will face a team in the opening series he previously coached from 2011 to 2016.
While St. Louis finished with the lowest amount of points in an 82-game season during the franchise’s six-year playoff bid, it has been a whirlwind campaign to say the least. The heights have stretched beyond the team’s first Winter Classic appearance and 50th year anniversary festivities.
The Blues have a new identity from last year’s Western Conference Finals roster. Ken Hitchcock was relieved of coaching duties in early February and the Blues have lost veteran leadership in the likes of David Backes, Troy Brouwer, Brian Elliott and Kevin Shattenkirk over the past 10 months.
Despite these organizational changes, St. Louis kept composure and quietly emerged as threat to make deep playoff run. But, this surprise stretch wouldn’t have been possible without players taking leadership roles in times of need.
Within this slideshow are five NHL accolades handed out to Blues on a team scale.
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Selke- Best defensive forward
Calder- Best rookie
Vezina- Best goaltender
Norris- Best defenseman
Hart- Most valuable player
The Blues have not had a winner for any of these major individual awards since Barret Jackman took home Calder honors for the 2002-03 season.
While it may be difficult for the Blues to rack up hardware on a league scale, St. Louis’s season may have ended up drastically different without contributions from five team award nominees.