The St. Louis Blues have had plenty of great teams in the past. Now that they have won the Stanley Cup, staying on top of the mountain is the new goal.
The St. Louis Blues had so many good-to-great teams in the past. That is where the idea of a curse was born from.
St. Louis had so many teams that seemed good enough to win the fabled Stanley Cup. Somehow, someway, they would find a way to lose it.
Other times, they simply ran up against teams that might be considered all-time greats. That was the case in the early 1990’s when Chicago had some of their best teams. It was even more evident when the Blues had to constantly contend with some of the best teams the Detroit Red Wings had ever assembled.
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They just could not find the right mix to knock off Detroit. When Detroit faltered, the Colorado Avalanche had a list of future Hall of Fame players to toss the Blues to the side. It seemed like it never ended.
However, now that the Blues have finally won their Stanley Cup, they have an opportunity. While reading an interesting piece about a potential budding rivalry with the current Avalanche team, a thought occurred to me – what if the Blues could be the Red Wings of those past years?
In the past, the Blues were always the bridesmaid, never the bride, as the old saying goes. They now have a unique opportunity to put the shoe on the other foot.
Winning, just like it was in the past, will continue to be difficult. Colorado has a lot of young, speedy, hungry, talented players that are looking to take that next step.
Winnipeg continues to be tough. Nashville is not going away just yet. Dallas still has their own window open.
The Blues have the opportunity to do to those teams what Detroit did to them for so many years. St. Louis now has a chance to be the team that others look at and fume because they thought they had the team to do it and the Blues just got in the way.
Chicago will always be the Blues primary rival. It has always been that way and always will. Chicago fans might see it differently from time to time and even Blues fans might not have cared too much about Chicago one way or the other until Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane came around. Nevertheless, some rivalries just always are.
That said, there was a period of time in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s where the hatred felt for Detroit was unlike anything else. What if the Blues could cause that hatred instead of their own fans being the ones throwing things at the television?
The key will be finding the right core group and continually building around that like Detroit did in the past and like Chicago and Pittsburgh have done recently. The Blues are already on the right track.
St. Louis has Colton Parayko on a team-friendly deal for two more seasons. They have Marco Scandella, who has proven to be a solid fit in the Blues system, for several more years and love him or hate him, they have Justin Faulk tied up for a long time too.
That is a lot of talent already locked up. Combine that with solid pieces in place and several good prospects still waiting in the wings and the Blues’ window could be open for quite some time.
None of that is to say St. Louis will replicate the success of those Detroit teams. Their success would be hard for anyone to replicate, though Chicago has done a pretty good job in recent years.
Nevertheless, from a Blues fan perspective, just imagine not only winning your first Stanley Cup but finally being the thorn that is in everyone else’s side.
We have already seen evidence of it. Every playoff series during the Cup run, fans of other teams were whining about how dirty the Blues players were and about officiating.
That sounds pretty familiar, right Blues fans? It is nice to be on the other side of that equation for once.
How long that can last is up to the players. The team has the talent, a coach, a goaltender and a system that can provide success for quite some time. Now, they have to stay on top of the mountain, which is a challenge in and of itself.