St. Louis Blues: Drew Bannister’s Top Priority

St. Louis Blues fans are still learning Drew Bannister’s coaching style and methodology. He’s achieved a respectable amount of success in the AHL and in his first partial season as the Blues head coach. As we approach the 2024-25 season, anticipate a single main focus that will be emphasized and highlighted.
St Louis Blues v Florida Panthers
St Louis Blues v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Drew Bannister earned the permanent head coaching job of the St. Louis Blues, going 30-19-5. Blues fans can only imagine that their beloved team would have made the playoffs if he had taken over sooner.

There’s no knocking former coach Craig Berube, but Bannister’s methodology resonates with the current roster, taking a sharp turn in the win column.

Kris Knoblauch of the Edmonton Oilers is another example of an interim coach who has received a high level of success, leading his team to the Stanley Cup Finals.

St. Louis Blues: How did Bannister fare in the 2023-24 season?

“Overall, Bannister guided the team to significant improvements in several categories, including a climb from 23rd to 12th (2.87) in goals-against per game, 31st to 13th (22.8) in power play,” shared the St. Louis Blues official press release.

Numbers don’t lie, and the improvement of the St. Louis Blues in the scoring category must not be overlooked.

If the 2023-24 roster performance as a whole is any indication of Bannister’s approach and emphasis, expect more scoring from a variety of weapons.

Bannister has to be excited; he’s got several highly touted players who can score, including Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, and Pavel Buchnevich. However, he also has younger players looking to build upon their success, such as Jake Neighbours, Alexey Toropchenko, and even prospects entering the mix very soon.

Scoring threats are essential for a team to compete in the playoffs, regardless of their NHL roster.

While the St. Louis Blues have serious defensive issues and weaknesses, scoring can certainly help offset some of the concerns.

GM Doug Armstrong’s hands are most likely tied in the defensemen position due to lengthy contracts; therefore, offsetting the weakness in scoring is a must.

This is where Bannister can succeed and build on his reputation as a developmental coach.