Good morning Blues fans! This team has done more than many expected of them. While they have not always done things the conventional way, they are still full of surprises.
When the season began, there were a lot of expectations on the St. Louis Blues. They were coming off one of their best seasons in team history.
They finished with over 100 points in the regular season. The Blues then fought their way, sometimes literally, through two rounds of the playoffs to play in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in over 15 years.
Then the offseason came. While so many figured it would be a building block of a summer, the front office had other ideas.
Salary cap implications hindered many movements and Doug Armstrong painted himself into a corner with the entire Vladimir Sobotka saga. So, the Blues lost three very key players from their playoff run and didn’t add much.
Nevertheless, the Blues entered the 2016-17 season with plenty of hope and promise. It all started off pretty well, but then fell apart quickly.
The Blues suffered through one of the worst winters in recent memory. Fans began giving up and even the most supportive began losing ways to stick up for their team.
St. Louis seemed destined to miss the playoffs. The seasons seemed destined to be lost. Fans began calling for heads to roll and trying to figure out how the next summer could turn things around.
Instead, a coaching change seemed to polish things up very well. Regardless of what any of us thought about Mike Yeo coming in, he has exceeded even the highest of expectations given how the season was going.
The Blues went from out of the playoffs to third in the Central Division. Now, they have home ice advantage in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Jake Allen turned himself from a man so many wanted to run out of town on a rail to THE man.
The Blues have gone from playoff afterthought to a potential championship contender.
Now, lots of things have to fall just right for that last thing to happen. However, if any of us still truly believed we’d be sitting here even discussing this in January, we’d all be thrown in jail for perjury.
Nobody expected this kind of turnaround. So many thought the season was done back then and figured the Blues had made too many roster mistakes.
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Granted, some luck came into play, but he doesn’t look so dumb now. All those former names are out of the playoffs with the exception of Shattrnkirk and he came much closer than anyone would have thought.
The Blues were supposed to be stranded in the middle of the ocean without such leadership. They were up the creek without a paddle.
Still, here they are. The team is still playing while those individuals are not.
You can argue the merits of how good some of their new teams were. It is not a black and white issue. Even so, the fact remains the Blues are playing.
That’s a pretty fun thing. Even those that wanted the team to miss the playoffs are back on the wagon and having fun. Maybe this year won’t be our year again. It’s still a blast though, knowing how bad it could have been.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
The playoffs will continue a tiny bit earlier than many expected. There were many rumors about a Thursday start. Instead, it will be one day earlier and the first four games are all set with game times. (STLToday)
In case you missed it, our own Vladimir Tarasenko is up for some postseason hardware. Given the nature of the award, he might be the most fitting Blues player to ever win it if he does. (Bleedin’ Blue)
Saying you want to win and actually putting a good product on the ice are completely different. Just look at the Buffalo Sabres. They are a prime example of why Blues fans should not take their teams’ success for granted. (Post-Dispatch)
The Chicago Wolves came into the AHL playoffs with a lot of promise as one of the hottest teams in the league. Now, they are on the brink of elimination. (Wolves)
For the neutral fan, it was glorious. For those with a vested interest, it caused more gray hairs. The NHL set a record for extra hockey in the first round. (NHL)
We all know hockey players are some of the toughest guys in all sports. Some take it to new levels. The captain of the Ottawa Senators, Erik Karlsson has apparently been playing with something that would keep mortal men from walking. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!