St. Louis Blues players and fans learned quickly to trust in what Craig Berube was selling. He’ll have to get players to buy in even quicker now that he’s coaching the All-Star team.
The St. Louis Blues heard the term buy in so many times over the last decade, it probably made their head spin. However, as was the case from the very first day it was spoken, when the team bought in, they won.
It did not matter who their coach was, when they played the way the coach wanted, they won. The problem was getting them to buy in consistently.
That’s where Craig Berube has been a godsend. While every sports team will have their ups and downs, he has managed to get the Blues to play with a level of consistency. There are no more long lasting lulls.
Instead, Berube has been this team’s horse whisperer. He has pushed all the right buttons and almost every choice he has made has turned out gold, even if it took a little longer than others.
Berube has done a lot in a short amount of time. He won 60 games in his first 100 as Blues coach, which was faster than anyone else.
He won more games in one calendar year than any other Blues coach too. Of course, winning those 16 playoff games and a Stanley Cup helps out his numbers.
But, instead of letting the team let anyone think it was a fluke, he got them to buy in again to start 2019-20. There was no Stanley Cup hangover. Instead, the Blues jumped out and have been in first or near first place in the division and the conference from the beginning to the halfway point of the season.
All those wins mean Berube gets to keep coaching, in more ways than one. Berube was given an extension, we all knew was coming, after the 2019 playoffs. Now, due to his coaching, he gets another honor – he will coach the All-Star team.
Berube was his usual self when learning of the fact. He was honored, but quick to put praise elsewhere.
“It means a lot (to be coaching in the All-Star Game). But we’ve got a good team, that’s why I’m coaching. Our team has been fantastic this year, we’re in first place and that’s why I’ve been named head coach. There have been a lot of great coaches to coach the All-Star Game. This is my first, so I’m excited. It’s a great honor.” – Craig Berube via blues.nhl.com
Berube is not wrong. These spots are not just handed out, so the Blues hosting has little to nothing to do with it. It mainly boils down to the teams leading their divisions at a certain point in the season.
Nevertheless, it is quite fitting the way 2019 went for this team. Berube ascended to the head coaching spot and there was almost an immediate impact.
Now, with the team and city hosting their first All-Star Game in over 30 years, it seems fitting that the coach that led the Blues to their first Stanley Cup would lead their division’s All-Star group.
Maybe he can lead them to a win too. Since going to the three-on-three format, the Central Division has not fared well at this event.
The skills competition will be January 24. Berube and the Central Division will take on the rest of the league on January 25.