3 Reasons The St. Louis Blues Will Win The 2022 Stanley Cup

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91)Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next

Deja Vu

Let’s get this out of the way. The 2021-22 Blues are not the 2018-19 Blues.

They’re better offensively, not as good defensively and aren’t as big, nor as physically punishing as that team proved to be. However, the thing people forget is that nobody thought that about the 2019 playoff team.

Based only on the regular season, we knew the Blues were a bigger squad and liked to forecheck, but nobody saw the physical punishment that wore out Winnipeg and San Jose coming. The way they threw themselves into the opponents while still keeping themselves involved in the play was amazing, but unexpected.

That’s where the deja vu comes in. This current team is built differently, but it has so many similar qualities.

They’re capable of winning in any way. This team is based on offense more than any other Blues team since the early 1990’s, but they’re still capable of winning low scoring games.

The goaltending can still steal them games. Talk about Ville Husso‘s inexperience or Jordan Binnington‘s shaky play all you want. Either of those two has the talent and the ability to steal the Blues games, which you need in the playoffs.

Sticking with goaltending, it should be a familiar theme that the Blues have questions going into the playoffs with goaltending. Local fans were confident in Binnington back in 2019, but, nationally, he was an unknown quantity. Fans and media outside of St. Louis didn’t buy into the whole “Do I look nervous?” thing. Now, we hear the same questions about Husso – whether he can handle four, seven game series.

Similarly, nobody really expects the Blues to do much in 2022 and nobody expected them to do anything in 2019. Most analysts said the Winnipeg Jets would win in five or six. It’s more a split this time around, but there are still plenty picking against the Blues against Minnesota too.

You can bet nobody will give the Blues a chance if they face the Colorado Avalanche in a potential second round. Even if they made the conference final or the Stanley Cup final, the prognosticators are fawning over the Eastern Conference this year.

Good. Let them overlook the Blues the way they did in 2019. This is not the same squad, but that can and will fuel them as long as they’re playing to their best abilities.

Looking at individuals, there are plenty of doubters. Scandella is on most people’s you-know-what list, but nobody had much confidence in Carl Gunnarsson in 2019. Nobody thought Jay Bouwmeester and Parayko could shut anyone down and they did. Nobody saw the fourth line of the 2019 Blues being so immensely effective, but they were and the 2022 version can do the same, even if in a different way.

They’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but like in 2019, this team believes in themselves and each other. Whether they like one another off the ice is irrelevant because we’ve seen a bond between a guy like Tarasenko, who everyone claimed to be a cancer, and all his teammates, even ones we know have had a rift in the past.

There may not have been a midseason practice fight, but this team went through similar trials to the 2019 team. They had a stretch where they weren’t playing well and fingers started getting pointed, even if names were left out.

Next. The current playoff system is best...for now. dark

The 2022 Blues persevered and had a record-breaking winning and point streak to end the season. Oh, by the way, the 2019 Blues won nine of their last 12 and took points in 10 of their last 12 games.

Purely coincidence, for sure. Nevertheless, when this team gets hot, they’re capable of beating anyone.