St. Louis Blues News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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2/25/15: St. Louis, the city, is a pretty hospitable place filled with good people with down-home Midwestern values and welcoming smiles for visitors. St. Louis, the hockey team, is not like that. The Blues hosted the struggling Boston Bruins last Friday. It was the NHL debut of goalie Malcolm Subban, younger brother of Candiens star defenseman P.K. After a lifeless first period, the Blues scored three times in just over five minutes to start the second period, forcing the Bruins to pull Subban for Tukka Rask. The Blues went on to win 5-1 and remain in second place in the Central Division.
2/18/15: What do Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour, Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock all have in common? Well, they are/were NHL coaches. They are the four winningest coaches in NHL history. And, they all coached the St. Louis Blues at some point (with Hitchcock currently with the Blues). Bowman leads the field with 1,244 wins. Arbour is second at 782. Quenneville is still active and currently the head coach of that team up north and is at 739. Hitch moved into fourth when the Blues beat Arizona last week and sits with 692. Hopefully, Hitchcock becomes the first to win the Stanley Cup with the Blues.
2/11/15: The St. Louis Blues were the hottest team in the NHL for the past few weeks. They amassed an impressive 11-0-1 record over 12 games and propelled themselves to a tie for first place with the Nashville Predators in that span. It was also a franchise record, besting the previous mark set by the 2000-01 Blues who won the President's Trophy for best record in the NHL. But all good things must come to an end, and they did last Friday when the Columbus Blue Jackets routed the Blues 7-1. But it is still an impressive run, and has put some space between the Blues and the slumping Blackhawks.
2/5/15: The St. Louis Blues have one of the best teams in the NHL this season, which has many fans thinking this could be the year the Blues finally win their first Stanley Cup. If that does not work out, then maybe the team can a tournament made out of front office personnel. Future hall of fame goalie Martin Brodeur announced his retirement and took a job with the team as an assistant GM (raising more than a few eyebrows in New Jersey). Along with Brodeur, the Blues also employ Al MacInnis and Brett Hull in their management. Brodeur will stay on with the team for at least the rest of the season and may go back to New Jersey afterward.
1/28/15: It is the All-Star break so that makes for a good time to check in on the Blues. St. Louis sits in second place in the Central Division with 62 points. That is tied with Chicago and three points behind Nashville. The Blues have been on a roll lately and finished the first half with a 3-0 shutout of Toronto. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Vladimir Tarasenko were voted into the All-Star Game, and now comes word the goalie Brian Elliot will join them as an injury replacement for Sergei Bobrovski. The Blues look good heading into the home stretch of the season and should return to the playoffs.
1/21/15: Well, we all knew this was a temp job, but still, it is Martin Brodeur we are talking about. The winningest goalie of all time has not played in nearly three weeks and who knows when he is getting back on the ice. The Blues granted him a week long leave of absence to ponder his future. He was signed because Brian Elliott was injured, but Elliott is back now, so there really is not room for Brodeur. Perhaps he will ask for a release or a trade. Of course, there is the possibility that he stays with the blues in a player-coach capacity and channels his inner Reggie Dunlap.
1/14/15: The St. Louis Blues are among the hottest teams in the NHL over the last couple of weeks. The team has won their last four games and has put some separation between themselves and Winnipeg for a guaranteed playoff spot. More importantly, the offense has been on fire lately. They outscored their opponents 25-8 over those four wins (including beating the San Jose Sharks 7-2 twice in a week). Finally, they have the best power play in the league at over 26%, which means other teams cannot get cheap with them because the Blues answer with crushing goals.
1/7/15: The St. Louis Blues missed goaltender Brian Elliott while he was injured, which, of course prompted the team to bring in Martin Brodeur. Elliott has returned from injury, which gives the Blues their best chance to win. However, they are now stuck with three goaltenders, and that is a problem in and of itself. In the short term, Jake Allen may take some games as a healthy scratch. He would have to clear waivers if the Blues wanted to send him to the AHL, and some team would surely pick him up. So it may just be the end of the line for certain Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.
12/3/14: The St. Louis Blues have had among the best goaltending in the NHL this season, going with the tandem of Brian Elliott and Jake Allen. It turns out that ditching Ryan Miller and his huge contract demands were a good thing. But Elliott got hurt last week and is listed as 'week to week', which usually means a month or more. So the Blues reached out to another veteran netminder to help out. They brought in 42 year old free agent Martin Brodeur, who is easily one of the top five goalies in NHL history. The Blues may sign him and have him spell Allen, which would probably be a pretty good move.
11/19/14: The 2014-15 campaign seems to be the coming out party for Blues right winger Vladimir Tarasenko. He is fourth overall in scoring with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) and basically put the team on his back while Paul Statsny, T.J. Oshie and David Backes were all injured and led the team to a seven game winning streak. But his breakout actually started last playoffs. In six games, he had four goals - he is just continuing his development. The best thing for St. Louis - he is only 22 years old and the Blues would like to keep him around for years.
11/12/14: The St. Louis Blues have been the hottest team in the NHL for the past couple of weeks and are being led by the hottest player in the league, Vladimir Taresenko. St. Louis took a few big injuries early with Paul Statsny going down to a shoulder injury and David Backes and T.J. Oshie suffering concussions. Statsny and Backes are back, but this has been the Teresenko show. The Blues have won seven straight games and have soared to the top of the Central Division. And, at least so far, dumping Ryan Miller has not hurt at all as Jake Allen and Brian Elliott are among the best tandems in the league.
11/5/14: The Blues are trying to find their identity and even head coach Ken Hitchcock concedes that he does not know what type of team they have. Last week, they showed they have a pretty good team. They beat Chicago, Dallas and Anaheim in consecutive games. Vladimir Taresenko scored his first NHL hat trick and is turning into the scoring threat the Blues envisioned. Even tough guy Ryan Reaves is getting into the act with a pair of goals, helping to pick up the slack from the loss of T.J. Oshie and David Backes (both out with concussions).
10/29/14: After a lackluster effort at home against Vancouver last week resulted in a 4-1 loss, head coach Ken Hitchcock called out and challenged his team. The next game was against arch-rival Chicago, and Hitch said how they played was more important than the score. Well, he got both. The Blues played their best game of the year, coming back from a 1-0 deficit to win 3-2 in regulation. The win improved the Blues to 3-3-1 on the season, and Hitch hopes that it gets them on a roll. Some great home games this week when the Anaheim Ducks (Oct. 30) and Colorado Avalanche (Nov. 1) come to town.
10/22/14: Sports teams from St. Louis are struggling these days against their rivals from California. Though the St. Louis Cardinals eliminated the L.A. Dodgers from the playoffs, it has been difficult for the local teams since then. The Rams were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football (thanks in large part to a phantom call that changed the game). The Cardinals were knocked out of the postseason in five games to the San Francisco Giants. The Blues did a bit better - taking the L.A. Kings to a shootout in a 0-0 game. Unfortunately, the Kings won the shootout and got the two points. The Blues, meanwhile, are looking for an offensive spark.
10/15/14: The St. Louis Blues did not get off to the start they wanted to. They hosted the New York Rangers in the season opener. The Rangers came out to play right away, the Blues needed a period to warm up. New York put 16 shots on goal in the first period and Brian Elliot kept the Blues in the game by stopping 15 of them. Paul Statsny scored in his homecoming game, but the Blues ultimately fell 3-2. The Blues will head off on their first West Coast trip this week and face the L.A. Kings, Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks before returning home to host the Vancouver Canucks.
10/8/14: With the roster just about set and all the contracts, at least in the near term, signed and executed, the Blues are about to embark on a very important campaign. St. Louis has done a marvelous job over the past five years or so of climbing out of the dregs of the league to become an elite team. Now they need to prove it. The team cannot afford any more early playoff exits, they need to seize their opportunity this season. It will be tough considering all the talent in the Western Conference, but the team is mature and battle-tested, and has the ability to win the Stanley Cup.
10/1/14: It appears that the Blues are getting closer to signing forward Jaden Schwartz, who has shown in his limited time in the NHL that he is a good man for contributing points. And the Blues offense needs offense. The player and team are reportedly only half a million dollars apart from a two year deal. The Blues, unfortunately, are butting up against the ceiling of the salary cap, so they do not have much wiggle room. But Schwartz is a restricted free agent, so the chances are that the two sides get a deal done and Schwartz is back on the ice soon.
9/24/14: The Blues have a strong core of talented players, but that does not mean that they are not still trying to dig up some diamonds in the rough. The team has one of the best defensive units in the game, but there are still questions about their number six and seven defensemen. St. Louis has invited Ryan Whitney to camp, giving a former standout a chance at making the team. Whitney was great for a couple of years, but has fallen off the shelf a bit. If nothing else, he will likely go to the minors and could be an injury call-up if needed.
9/17/14: The Blues made a few big moves this offseason, including signing center Paul Statsny to a big contract and losing Vladimir Sbotka to the KHL. One of the moves that has gone under the radar was signing Jori Lehtera to deal and getting him to the States. The Blues took him in the third round of the 2008 draft, but he stayed overseas. GM Doug Armstrong ran into him at the Olympics, and Lehtera wanted to come to the NHL. The Blues got him under contract and he should be in training camp. He could be a big factor for the team as they try to win their first Stanley Cup.
8/28/14: The St. Louis Blues are working at resigning forward Jaden Schwartz, who is a restricted free agent. The Blues have a history of taking a hard line with RFA's, including star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo last summer. The team wants to get Schwartz signed before training camp, but the negotiations seem stalled right now. Schwartz had a breakout campaign last season and has proven himself as both a goal scorer and penalty kill wizard. While the negotiations may take longer than desired, there seems to be a good chance Schwartz will be with the team in the not to distant future.
8/21/14: Team chemistry is a complex and intangible thing that can make or break a strong team. The Blues, though they have suffered far too many disappointments over the years, seem to have a great team chemistry. All of their offseason moves may threaten that, including trading away the physical Roman Pollack for offensive minded Carl Gunnarson, but at least defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk thinks their shared adversity will make them stronger this coming season. The Blues have the talent and coaching to win the Stanley Cup, now it is just time to finally do it and reward some of the best fans in the NHL.
8/14/14: The St. Louis Blues addressed their biggest need on the first day of free agency by signing hometown guy and quality number two center Paul Statsny. That should help out with the offense, which has had a tendency to break down at key times. But they also signed former eighth overall pick Peter Mueller, also a center, to a one year, two way contract. Mueller is only 26 and was a top ten pick in 2006. He never achieved the kind of success that was expected of his lofty draft status, but he is a low risk signing that will at least provide some experienced depth for the team.
8/7/14: St. Louis had been among the more careful teams in the NHL when it comes to drafting and developing players from Russia. They took a couple years to nurture and bring over Vladimir Taresenko, and that has been a gold mine. Then something happened. They had a good relationship with Vlad Sobotka, but he decided to go to the KHL for at least next season. Now they have lost another player to the KHL as minor leaguer Sergei Andronov. He was called up three times to the Blues from the minors, but did not play a game. It does not help, but it will not hurt as much as losing Sobotka.
7/31/14: The Blues did not make too many changes to their team this summer, even though they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs after having a pretty successful regular season. That means that they did not over-react like San Jose and start shipping out quality veterans on a whim. There is a new goalie coach and Paul Statsny is a nice addition, though the team did lose gritty third line center Vladimir Sobotka. The team also introduced a new president of business operations in Chris Zimmerman. Zimmerman was hired in June to replace Bruce Affleck, who is now an executive vice president with the team.
7/24/14: The Blues have had a good offseason, particularly with the signing of center Paul Statsny. But the Vladimir Sobotka situation was a bit of a mess, with Sobotka deciding against returning to the Blues (for now, at least) and going to the KHL. Sobotka's agent says that the Blues were only $300,000 short of getting him back. But the team did re-sign Steve Ott. Ott was not great last season, but is a gamer. He wanted to come back to St. Louis and now will have the chance to take over the role vacated by Sobotka.
7/17/14: The Blues may be without one of their young core forwards next season as Vladimir Sobotka has signed on to play in the KHL in Russia next season. The Blues filed for arbitration on Sobotka in an effort to get him a raise but also get him under contract quickly and before training camp. The arbitration will continue and the ruling would binding if/when Sobotka returns. Actually, he could accept the arbitration and stay in St. Louis next season, but that seems increasingly unlikely. The Blues did resign Steve Ott to a two year deal, and he may serve as Sobotka's replacement in the near term.
7/10/14: The Western Conference is easily the superior of the two NHL conferences, and there is even an heirarchiy within the West of haves and have nots. The Blues are clearly one of the 'haves' and were able to leverage that designation in signing center Paul Statsny away from Colorado. Statsny grew up in St. Louis for a time and considers it his hometown. He should end up as the first or second line center as the Blues try to rebound from this past season's early playoff exit and win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
7/3/14: The Blues are desperately searching for a number two center in an effort to bolster scoring next season but the search still continues. In the meantime, the Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off the biggest trade during the draft, sending defenseman Roman Pollack to Toronto for defenseman Carl Gunnarson and a fourth round pick. The hope is that by exchanging a stay at home D-man for a more offensive one will open up the ice. The Blues also selected center Robby Fabbri with their first round pick, who may one day develop into a top six forward.
6/26/14: The Blues have developed into an elite team over the past few years, led by strong defense and a big physical play up front. While that has been a successful formula (at least in the regular season), the team has not been able to generate a consistent scoring formula, so they are expected to be in the market for a scorer this offseason. There are a few in play, including Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators. There could be a trade to be made there, though it would come at a big price, including a reported first round draft pick.
6/19/14: If Blues fans have ever wondered why they never get the invitation to host an outdoor game, then the answer may be in money and corporate sponsorships. The Blues are not likely to get an invitation to the Winter Classic (at least until they win a Stanley Cup) because they lack the national following of teams from bigger markets. They are also unlikely hosts of a Stadium Series game because they would play the game in Busch Stadium. Coors is the title sponsor of those games and would not want a competing beer prominently mentioned. Until something changes, Blues fans can only hope to get asked to the dance by someone else.
6/12/14: OK, we've had a month now, so let's see what is going on. The Blues were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the defending Stanley Cub champs, the Chicago Blackhawks. Since then, they have decided to part ways with expensive rental Ryan Miller and let Brian Elliott have a legitimate shot at the starting goalie position (along with Jake Allen). The team has let go of a couple of assistant coaches, but should be no worse for the wear. It really comes down to next season's playoffs, and if this squad can finally reach their potential as a Stanley Cup winner.
6/6/14: Since the Blues do not have those pesky playoffs to worry about anymore this season, the organization has turned its sights on philanthropic measures for the St. Louis community. The team donated and installed a permanent floor hockey rink at the Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club to allow youths to play street hockey. They also donated the services of Louie, the team mascot, for a Make-A-Wish adventure for Officer Jalisha, a 14 year old girl who wished to be a police officer for a day. In a time with leagues and teams generating only bad PR, it is great to see the positive side of professional sports.
5/29/14: It came out a few weeks ago that the Blues were certainly going to have young goalie Jake Allen on the roster next season, which meant that they would have to decide between trying to re-sign Brian Elliot or Ryan Miller. Miller certainly has all the pedigree and recognition, but also a huge price tag. In the end, St. Louis opted to bring back Elliot, who has been very good in his three years in St. Louis. Allen and Elliot will battle it out for the starting position, while Miller is now just a very expensive short-term rental that will look for work elsewhere.
5/22/14: It will be interesting to see what the Blues do this summer with their goaltending group. On one hand, they look like the envy of the league. On the other hand, they really only have one netminder under contract for next season - Jake Allen. The Blues paid a king's ransom for Ryan Miller via trade. He is now a free agent and may go elsewhere. Brian Elliot was the other man on the roster and he too is a free agent. Miller has the pedigree but Elliott has been fantastic when he has played. It is doubtful the team will try to re-sign both guys, but if they are not careful, then they may not get either.
5/15/14: Just stick with the plan, St. Louis, just stick with the plan. And that appears to be exactly what the Blues are doing. Despite firing a couple of assistant coaches, including their goalie coach, the Blues are moving forward with business as usual. They extended the contract of head coach Ken Hitchcock, meaning he is still safe for a while. The Blues had an excellent regular season until the last two weeks when they lost their final six games. They won their first two playoff games against Chicago, but dropped the next four. Still, this is an elite team that will be back next year, and hungrier than ever.
5/8/14: Its another off season for the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were eliminated from the postseason by the Chicago Blackhawks, after six game in the first round. The big question facing the Blues is who will be in the goal next season. GM Doug Armstrong insists that minor leaguer Jake Allen will be in the bigs next season, so that means a decision on Ryan Miller and Brian Elliot. The Blues would like to keep both but that will not be possible. Miller is sure to be expensive and have plenty of suitors, so it would not be surprising if he was just an expensive rental.
5/1/14: The Blues had a great regular season until the final few weeks, when fatigue and injures set in. As much as they tried to persevere, the physical toll was too much. St. Louis, unfortunately, fell to the rival Chicago Blackhawks in six games in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues won the first two games of the series, both in overtime. However, they dropped the next four, two of which also went to overtime. It is a shame to see such a talented team get knocked out so early, but sending nine players to the Olympics and facing a vey good Chicago team was simply too much.
4/23/14: The Blues and Blackhawk are matched up in perhaps the most intense series in all of the NHL playoffs. St. Louis leads the series 2-1 heading into the second game in Chicago, each team has won only at home. The Blues are winning in dramatic fashion. In both wins, they tied up the game late and finished off the job in overtime (the first one was an instant classic that St. Louis pulled out in triple overtime). It has also been a physical series with the Blackhawks trying to match the sheer strength of the Blues with, what some may say, are cheap shots to the Blues' star players.
4/17/14: Heading into the final week of the season, the Blues decided to pick a poor time to go into a slump. By the end of last week, the team had lost four straight games - they had not lost more than two in a row all season. The slump may have pushed them out of race for the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular season record in the NHL, as well as pushed them out of the top spot in the Western Conference. They may even lose control of the Central Division to Colorado. That would mean they would face their long-time arch rival, Chicago, in the first round, and one of the elite teams in the league would be out of the playoffs early.
4/10/14: The St. Louis Blues continue to win and keep their hopes for the Presidents' Trophy (awarded to the team with the most points in the standings) alive. While they did not play like a juggernaut against Buffalo, they did manage a 2-1 win, earning their 52nd win of the season. Win 52 set a new franchise record for wins in a season, eclipsing the 1999-2000 team that did win the team's only Presidents' Trophy. That team was booted from the playoffs in the first round by eighth seed San Jose. The best record in the NHL regular season would be nice, but the real objective, as always, is to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup.
4/3/14: Can this finally be the year for the St. Louis Blues? In their 45 year history, the Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, though they did go a few times in their early years. Then they had 26 straight years of making the playoffs with nothing to show for it. This time may be different. The Blues clinched a playoff birth last week, the first team to do so this season. They have dominated the Central Division this season, losing only twice in regulation and have not lost three games in a row all year. St. Louis is fighting it out for the Presidents' Trophy, but the Stanley Cup remains the ultimate goal.
3/27/14: The blues were officially put on notice last week when they went into Chicago and were thoroughly trounced by the host Blackhawks 4-0. The loss ended some impressive streaks for St. Louis. It was new goalie Ryan Miller's first loss wearing the Blue Note and it was the first time all season that a Central Division team beat the Blues in regulation - bringing their division record to a still impressive 18-1-2. St. Louis is still fighting for the President's Trophy for the best overall regular season record and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They are also the first team to reach 100 points this season.
3/20/14: That blockbuster trade the Blues made to acquire All-Star goalie Ryan Miller and Steve Ott is certainly paying off so far. The Blues have lost once since the trade - and that was in a shootout to Dallas. Otherwise, the Blues have become the most dangerous team in the league. They are on top of the NHL standings, having surpassed Anaheim. They are even building up a comfortable lead on the Division, as that margin is now six points. But the Blues did not get Miller for the regular season, they got him for the playoffs and a deep run to the Stanley Cup.
3/13/14: The Blues got things going for all of the NHL trade activity a few days before the trade deadline by making the blockbuster trade for star goalie Ryan Miller and chief agitating officer Steve Ott from Buffalo. This is not a trade that they made for the regular season as the Blues are almost guaranteed an automatic qualifying bid in the playoffs by being one of the top three teams in the Central Division. This was a trade to get them deep into the playoffs and no one is more important than a hot goalie in May. On a related note, the Blues are now the favorites to win the Cup at 5/1.
3/6/14: The Blues made the big pre-tradeline splash by completing a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres. St. Louis acquired perennial all-star goalie Ryan Miller and agitator Steve Ott for goalie Jaro Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect Carrier, and two draft picks. The move shows that the Blues are serious about winning now and that the team believes that they have the final pieces for a deep playoff run. It was an expensive price to pay, especially since Miller will be a free agent at the end of the season. However, the team has never won the Stanley Cup and rarely has made it past the second round in the past 40 years, so they really would not change anything if they don't win it all.
2/27/14: The Olympics are over and it is time for the Blues to get back to work. St. Louis had nine players and a coach at the Olympics, and a few are coming back with gold medals - including defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Boumeester, as well as head coach Ken Hitchcock. The Blues are in excellent shape for the final quarter of the season. They are currently in first place in the Central Division and hold all the tie-breakers over the rival Chicago Blackhawks, as well as three games in hand. Hopefully, this will be the year that the Blues break through and make it to the Stanley Cup finals - a place they have not been since 1970.
2/20/14: The rest of the world is discovering what the St. Louis Blues and faithful Blues fans have known for years - T.J. Oshie is an outstanding hockey player. Oshie burst on to national fame with his four goals in the overtime shootout game against Russia, giving the Americans a 3-2 win. When asked about being a 'hero', he humbly deferred heroism to U.S. troops keeping the nation safe. It is a far cry from other athletes that want lifetime enshrinement every time they make a play. Congrats to Oshie, and U.S. hockey team on a great win in the most exciting hockey game in recent memory.
2/13/14: The Blues are sitting pretty heading into the Olympic break. They are second in the Central Division behind arch rival Chicago, but have a few games in hand to make that up. They also have beaten Chicago in all three games this year, so they own the tiebreaker if needed. The only real concern for the Blues is that they have nine players headed to Sochi for the Olympics. It would be 10, but Sobotka was injured. Head coach Ken Hitchcock is coaching as well. Here is hoping their stars do not suffer too much fatigue and the Blues can finally win their first Stanley Cup this season.
2/6/14: A year ago, this would have been heresy. However, here we are in 2014 and the Blues are reportedly considering trading Chris Stewart to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan. Stewart was a big contributor last season, but has struggled this season. Callahan is an unrestricted free agent that wants $6 million per year in a long term deal. The risk is that Callahan is an expensive rental and that Stewart could bounce back. The other side is that Callahan could give the Blues that last piece to finally win the Stanley Cup - so no price is too high.
1/30/14: The Blues did one of the classiest things a team can do on their east coast road trip. They stopped off at Yale to honor the late sister of Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, Mandi Schwartz. Mandi passed away from a rare form of leukemia in 2011. The entire Blues team and coaches were on hand to honor her. The Blues also held an open practice at Yale, which allowed the general public to meet the team. The team played the Islanders the next night and won in a shootout, but more importantly, they showed support for one of their own and gave many youngsters the chance to see a pro team up close. At this point, they may be more popular in the region than the Islanders.
1/23/14: Welcome back, Alex Steen. Steen has missed nearly a month of playing time due to a concussion. He was injured on December 21st, and the Blues have missed him - especially in the last few days. Before he was injured, he was having a career year in goals, assists, and points. He even was challenging Capitols' star Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in the league. The Blues have struggled to score goals lately, so his return is much welcomed. Additionally, Steen will play in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia next month. Here's hoping he did not lose his touch.
1/16/14: Good times down by the Arch, these days. The Blues keep rolling, having just notched their seventh consecutive win. That ties them in points with the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division, but they own the tiebreaker right now, having beaten Chicago all three times this season. Also, they have three games in hand. St. Louis will also be well represented in the Olympics with 10 players and head coach Ken Hitchcock going to Sochi. The biggest concern for the Note is fatigue from the extra games and the risk of injury. On the other hand, this is a top notch team that is built for the playoffs.
1/9/14: The Blues have been shorthanded for the past few weeks, but that has not stopped their tear through the NHL. They have not lost in quite a while and are currently riding a five game winning streak after knocking off the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. They are getting healthy too. Captain David Backes returned after missing three games to an upper body injury and veteran defenseman Justin Leopold is back after wrist surgery. Hopefully, starting goalie Jaro Halak will return soon, as he has been out with an illness. Brian Elliot has been outstanding in his absence, as the Blues continue to close the gap with the Blackhawks.
1/2/14: This could be the Blues year. St. Louis made the Stanley Cup finals early in their existence, thought that was largely due to playing in a conference with only other expansion teams. The Blues have made it to the Conference Finals a few times since, most notably against Calgary in 1986 (the Monday Night Miracle game 6 comes to mind). St. Louis won the President's Cup in 2001, but were quickly eliminated by the San Jose Sharks. This team is different, though. They have experience and skill. They may not win the President's Cup, but they could win the Stanley Cup - and that is what matters.
12/26/13: Two years ago, one of the smartest things the Blues did was name name David Backes as their captain. He is not the best player on the team. He is not the fastest. He does not put up the most points. He is the hardest working. And the toughest. And the best leader. Backes came back from injury early to lead his team to a win. St. Louis is still without Alex Steen, their top scorer, and may miss him for another week or so. The Blues are in second place in the Central Division, just four points behind the hated Chicago Blackhawks. The good news? St. Louis has three games in hand over Chicago, and if they win all of those, could overtake the Blackhawks for the division.
12/19/13: Hopefully, the Blues are out of their slump. In a stretch against the better teams in the league (read: Western Conference leaders), the Blues struggled mightily and lost to Anaheim, San Jose, and Los Angeles. But the team may have turned a corner with a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are one of the best teams in the East, and that is a point to build on. Alex Steen continues his torrid pace and notched his team leading 22nd goal of the season. St. Louis is in position to do damage in the playoffs. They have a relatively young team that has been together for a few years and outstanding coaching to keep them focused. A Stanley Cup could be in their near fututre.
12/12/13: Take comfort, Blues fans, it's a long season and every team goes through their share of ups and downs. St. Louis has lost four of their last five, with the lone win being against the lowly Islanders (they may have been relegated to AHL if they lost that game). But they have lost to good teams like the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings. A lot of it has to do with controlling the puck. In their wins this season, the Blues have controlled the pace of play and kept the puck in the opposition end. Lately it has been the other way around. St. Louis is still in second place and should bounce back soon.
12/5/13: The Blues have historically been rivals with the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. With the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference, the Blues may have found a new rival with the Colorado Avalanche. St. Louis pounded the Avs 7-3 at home three weeks ago, and followed that up with a dominating 4-1 win in Denver last week. The win gave the Blues their 18th win of the season and a four point cushion in the standings. Of course, it is only a rivalry if both teams win some games against the other, so maybe it is not a rivalry yet.
11/28/13: The Blues continue their winning ways, whether it be at home or on the road. The team made a statement to the entire league by taking down the Bruins 3-2 in a shootout. St. Louis continues to get quality play out of the third and fourth line, which is the difference between good and great teams. Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 shots in regulation and only allowed one shootout goal before Derek Roy redeemed himself for missing on a breakaway in the final minute of OT, before sliding one past Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask to win the game. St. Louis is now in second in the Central, just a point behind Chicago but with two games in hand.
11/21/13: The Colorado Avalanche may be at the top of the Central Division standings, but don' tell that to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues walloped the Avs at home 7-3 to knock Colorado out of the top spot. The Blues top line of Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie, and David Backes combined for nine points in the beatdown. Former Av Chris Stewart earned the ire of Colorado by fighting and beating up Corey Sarich as the game became a boxing match in the third period. The Blues are still on pace for a high playoff spot, but it will be interesting the next time these two teams meet.
11/14/13: The St. Louis Blues are off to one of their best starts in franchise history, but all it has earned them so far is a fifth place standing in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. The Blues have only lost two games in regulation and stand at 11-2-2. Yet they still trail the Chicago Blackhawks and the Central division leading Colorado Avalanche in points. That being said, the Blues have played less games than anyone in the league. They should also get deeper now that they have activated veteran forward Brendan Morrow off of the IR and he should be playing this week.
11/7/13: After getting a week off, the Blues have been busy lately. The team took their annual trip through the Southeast this past week and played the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning on consecutive nights. The Blues easily took the Friday night game against the Panthers, winning 4-0. But the road back to backs were a little too taxing, as the Blues allowed the Lightning to break a 2-2 tie in the third period, losing 4-2. St. Louis is 8-2-2, but that is only good for third place in the Central Division. That being said, the Blues have played a few games less than their division rivals and will likely gain a few points as the year progresses.
10/31/13: The Blues somehow found themselves with an entire week off during the regular season, something that is basically unheard of in the NHL. Several players actually went to South Carolina for a mini vacation. They faced the Canucks in their return and lost 3-2 in overtime, but bounced back the following night with a 6-1 pounding of the Nashville Predators. The Blues continue to rack up points and should be considered a contender throughout the entire season as the core group of players now has experience, talent, and chemistry to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season.
10/24/13: The Blues continue to show the Chicago Blackhawks that they are not to be pushed around this year. St. Louis beat the Hawks at home two weeks ago when Alex Steen broke a 2-2 deadlock with the game winning goal with 21 seconds remaining. Chicago wanted payback eight days later in Chicago. The Hawks led 1-0 and 2-1, but were tied at 2 apiece going into the third period, which was scoreless. T.J. Oshie scored on his shootout attempt and goalie Jaro Halak stopped all three attempts on him to give the Blues a 3-2 win and send 21,000 Blackhawks fans home very upset.
10/17/13: The St. Louis Blues renewed their rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks this past week, and the rivalry is as strong as ever. Both teams come into the season considered to be Stanley Cup contenders and the Blues did not disappoint their fans. On within minutes of the St. Louis Cardinals scoring insurance runs to beat the Pirates and advance to the NLCS, Alex Steen of the Blues fired a slapshot through the legs of Hawks' goalie Corey Crawford for the game winning goal with only 21 seconds left. The win kept the Blues undefeated for the young season and capped off a great night in St. Louis sports.
10/10/13: For the first time in about a decade the Blues are seriously considered as contenders for the Stanley Cup this season. They showed why that is on their opening night, a 4-2 win over Nashville. The win was nice, but the Blues chased the Predators' star goaltender, Pekka Rinne, early in the first period. St. Louis scored three goals on their first six shots, and added another later in the game. The knock on St. Louis is their offense, but with the maturation of T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Taresenko, and Jaden Schwartz, as well as the addition of Brendan Morrow, that may change this season.
10/3/13: Blues fans have been looking forward to this season for quite some time. The team invested heavily in young talent several years ago and has cultivated a strong core that includes T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Taresenko, and Jaden Schwartz. This is the year, many believe, that St. Louis takes the step to legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Jaro Halak will be the starting goalie, and the Blues have indicated they will not go with a time-share approach like in past years. Brian Elliot will be the backup and Jake Allen is ready in the minors. The Blues expectations are sky high this year, and it is likely that nothing short of a deep playoff run will be acceptable.
9/26/13: The Blues got the last remaining piece of the long-term puzzle solved last week when they signed young star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a long-term deal. Petro was a restricted free agent and all reports indicated that he wanted to stay in St. Louis and the Blues said they would match any offer sheet. It took a few days, but now everyone is happy. Petro finally found a solid D-mate when the Blues acquired Jay Boumeester last season, and they look to be a pair again. St. Louis feels they have the pieces to compete for the Stanley Cup this season and appear to be going all in.
9/19/13: The St. Louis Blues, like many other teams, have started their training camp. The Blues are looking to build on the success they have achieved over the past two years under head coach Ken Hitchcock. The Note has never won the Stanley Cup, though they made two appearances early in franchise history. Now, many believe, is the time to make the next step. The team brought back hall of famer Brett Hull in a front office position. Hull played 11 years in St. Louis, including the year he had 86 goals. The Blues play the Tampa Bay Lightning in a preseason game in Orlando on Wednesday.
9/12/13: No one in St. Louis is worried about the Blues being able to sign their star young defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo, to a long term deal. Petro is an unrestricted free agent and currently not under contract. Any team could sign him to an offer sheet and the Blues would have to match or cede him. Petro himself says that he will not hold out from training camp. The issue, as always, is money. The Blues are offering $6 million per year and he wants $7 million. Perhaps Petro misses some of training camp, but expect this deal to get finalized and for Petro to be with the Blues for many years.
9/4/13: St. Louis Blues fans are going to love their new fourth line center, Maxim Lapierre. Lapierre is tough guy with some talent. He will get into a lot of fights, take a lot of penalties, and generally wreak havoc on the other team. He will fit in well in St. Louis who still embraces guys like Tony Twist and Kelly Chase. While Lapierre can score a bit, it is his toughness and edge that will endear him to the locals. The Blues are banking on Vladimir Taresenko, David Backes, and T.J. Oshie to score, which will allow Lapierre to do what he does best - get under the opponents' skin.
8/29/13: This could be a big season for second year forward Vladimir Taresenko. Taresenko started his NHL career with a bang, scoring two goals in his first game and was named the NHL Rookie of the Month. However, a concussion in midseason derailed him. He was out for several weeks and was not the same player when he returned. He was more tentative and defenses had learned his moves. He is fully healthy now and the Blues will give him a bigger role in the offense. Combined with Jaden Schwartz, the Blues may just have a couple goal scorers on their team which has been completely supported by defense and goaltending the past two years.
8/22/13: Rare kind words for the Blues out of the Red Wings this past week. Detroit General Manager was asked if a team needs to be big to be successful in the Eastern Conference, as opposed to the Western Conference (as the Red Wings are moving to the East). He quickly pointed out the success that the Blues and Kings have had with teams with big bodies. The Blues are large, and they do not intend to get smaller, while the team could use a couple true scorers, the big guys are essential in the playoffs, and this could be the year the Blues finally break through.
8/15/13: The Blues are not likely to let their star young defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo, go anywhere anytime soon. Petro is a restricted free agent and has said that the Blues will match any competing offer. Rightfully so. Elite defenseman under the age of 25 that can play pentaly kill, power play, and can score do not come along every day. Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong hopes to have the contract finished up by the start of training camp, and keep Petro wearing the Blue Note for a long time - like former great Blues defensemen Rob Ramage, Chris Pronger, and Barclay Plager.
8/8/13: St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong hit the public airwaves this past week and said that St. Louis is where good players want to go. It is true that the Gateway City has tremendous fans, a great knowledge of the game, and some of the best Italian restaurants this side of Sicily. The team is also on the verge of something special, and as proof, defenseman Jay Boumeester re-signed without a second thought of going elsewhere. With a little luck, this next season is when the Blues finally break through and win the Stanley Cup.
8/1/13: This is not going as smoothly as the Blues would have liked. St. Louis traded top six forward David Perron to the Edmonton Oilers a few weeks ago, but Perron keeps barking about the trade. He said he had a gut feeling that it would come at some point. After two strong seasons to begin his career, Perron faded the last couple of campaigns. He never quite lived up to his potential and was not fitting in well with head coach Ken Hitchcock's scheme. It is probably best that he gets a fresh start elsewhere, and Edmonton is a great place to go considering all of the top notch young talent they have.
7/25/13: The St. Louis Blues were able to lock in restricted free agent Chris Stewart for two more years this past week. The team traded away forward David Perron to Edmonton to create some cap space, and still needs to re-sign star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in the near future. Stewart led the Blues in scoring last season - finally learning how to use his big frame and strong shot to his advantage. The team may now decide to get to work on a long-term deal for him in the hopes of keeping him as a core of the franchise for the next several years.
7/18/13: The Blues are going to have to do some juggling to get everyone they want under long-term deals, and even then, they may not be able to keep everyone they want. The emergence of goaltender Jake Allen makes Jaroslav Halak expendable. The Blues should feel comfortable going into the season with Allen and Brian Elliot, and could feasibly make a trade (possibly with Philadelphia) to pick up a scorer or prospects. GM Doug Armstrong is a good executive, so do not be surprised if he manages a deal to move Halak before training camp opens in a couple months.
7/11/13: The Blues signed Derek Roy to a $4 million deal, which will help stabilize a team that is showing cracks. His signing leaves the team about $9 million under the cap, but the team has to sign star defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk to long term deals. GM Doug Armstrong may have to make a deal to get some more space, and that could include shipping off goalie Jaro Halak and leave the netminding to Brian Elliot and youngster Jake Allen in the future. The team still has a strong core, but always can use more scoring.
7/4/13: The Blues took home a small haul from the NHL Entry Draft over the weekend, making only four selections. The team did not have a first round pick, which they traded for defenseman Jay Boumeester at the trade deadline. The Blues will return most of their core next season, and even signed breakout defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a four year extension. St. Louis may try to move goalie Jaro Halak with the emergence of Jake Allen. The Philadelphia Flyers are said to be interested in making a deal that makes sense for both of the teams involved.
6/27/13: Back in January, it looked like the Blues had a blue chipper in Vladimir Taresenko. The was named rookie of the month and had five goals while destroying the competition. He tailed off from his hot start then had a concussion that kept him on the sidelines for few weeks. He was not the same player when he returned - far more tentative. As his production tailed off, so did his playing time. He was a healthy scratch for five of the Blues six playoff games. The Blues gave him a mandate for the offseason, get into better shape. He was left off of the Russian national team for the same reason. However, if he gets his conditioning to the NHL level, then there is no telling how high the ceiling is for this amazing talent.
6/20/13: The Blues really feel like they are close. They have made the playoffs for the past two season and have a strong young core to grow with. In the future, though, Jamie Langenbrunner will not be part of the team. The Blues did not renew his contract so the veteran must find work elsewhere. One of the tougher choices the Blues may have is in net. Brian Elliot played well as the starter when Jaro Halak was injured, and Jake Allen filled in nicely as well. Halak was upset that he did not play when he returned to health, so he may be out the door soon to make room for Allen.
6/13/13: Blues center Andy McDonald announced his retirement this past week. He cited concern for concussions as the primary motivation to end his career. McDonald suffered several concussions in his playing time, including one a couple years ago the kept him out for the majority of the season. While it is sad to see a player of his character and talent leave the team, it is far better for him to leave with the opportunity of a healthy post-career life than continue to risk a devastating injury. St. Louis will miss McDonald, and hopefully he will return in another capacity for the team.
6/6/13: The St. Louis Blues did not progress as much as they wanted this postseason, but there is no reason for alarm. They matched up in the first round with the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings. Losing to that team is disappointing, but not problematic. Expect the Blues to put forth a similar lineup next year. The team still has faith in its cores, and will welcome Jaden Schwartz in with open arms. The Blues do need a true sniper - someone who can score. Schwartz has proven himself as a goal scorer, and if Taresenko recovers correctly, then they may have two new weapons that they lacked in the postseason.
5/30/13: The Blues and their fans are surely disappointed on how the season ended. The team got off to a great start, then struggled midway through the shortened season, but regained their form to finish 4th in the West. They got knocked out in the first round by the L.A. Kings - the same team that knocked them out the previous season en route to the Stanley Cup Championship. But do not expect major moves out of the Blues this offseason. They still have a strong young core of skaters and solid goaltending. The Blues may look for a good left defenseman, but their real need is a pure scorer.
5/23/13: The rest of the NHL is on notice. Granted, the 2013 playoffs are only in the second round and there is another month of hockey left in this season, but once again, everyone is on notice. The Blues have suffered for the last two years because they could not consistently score. They have a top defense and great goaltending, but seem to be allergic to scoring. Cue Ty Rattie. Rattie is a scoring machine and rewrote the record books in the minors. He scored 20 times in 21 games this postseason with Portland, and has 50 goals in 75 games. Once Tarasenko gets the concussion clouds of his head and is paired with Rattie and Jaden Schwartz, the Blues will set scoring records.
5/16/13: The St. Louis Blues have been playing in the NHL for 45 years and have zero Stanley Cups - they are almost half way to Cub-like futility. The Blues had a good team this year - good enough to win everything. But they drew the Kings in the first round and that is a team that matches up too well. L.A. knocked the Blues out in six games, particularly heartbreaking since St. Louis won the first two matches. On an aside, Jaro Halak may not be back with the team. He and head coach Ken Hitchcock are at odds over his injuries and playing time. Brian Elliot starred in net the last month and rookie Jake Allen showed he could handle the game.
2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team - St. Louis BluesAfter a slow start to their 2013 NHL campaign, one that saw their trademark abundance of goaltending produce subpar results, the St. Louis Blues rebounded in the second half of the season and secured the No. 4 seed in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Western Conference. Last season, that goaltending and tight, systematic defense earned them a second seed, but in the playoffs they ran into the upstart Los Angeles Kings and fell in the second round. This season's team is free of the lofty expectations that weighed on them last year, but what they still have is solid blue-line character and an 11-3 record heading into the 2013 NHL Playoffs. They never had much of a shot at their division title, as they play in the same group as the Chicago Blackhawks (and their historic streak this season).
At the trade deadline, the Blues traded for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary, and his performance has anchored their trademark stingy performance; for an average NHL Offense like St. Louis has, they rely on goal prevention in between and in front of the pipes to keep them in games and a series like this one. The Blues are hoping to improve the track record against the Kings that they established this season, where they have failed to avenge their playoff loss in three meetings. While the Los Angeles Kings have talent up front and on their own blue line to challenge St. Louis, look for goaltender Brian Elliot of the Blues to be the most important factor in this series. If he can match the success of the Kings' Jonathon Quick - who was the NHL playoff MVP last season - the St. Louis Blues have a chance of advancing in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Playoff Opponent
The St. Louis Blues were 0-3 against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2013 NHL regular season, including two losses at the Scottrade Center. With home ice advantage in the first round of the 2013 NHL Playoffs, the Blues are hoping to improve their performance and earn a different result than last season.
NHL Playoff Preview - St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues - Because It's the Cup
Blues - Kings Fight - 3/5/2013
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While the St. Louis - Chicago rivalry often finds fuel in the spring thanks to the Cardinals and Cubs starting their respective baseball seasons, this year gets a second dose from the NHL's Western Conference playoffs. The No. 2 seed St. Louis Blues and No. 3 Chicago Blackhawks will face off in the inaugural Central…Read more
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|Mar 5, 2015||St. Louis Blues vs Philadelphia Flyers|
|Mar 7, 2015||St. Louis Blues vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Mar 10, 2015||Winnipeg Jets vs St. Louis Blues|
|Mar 12, 2015||Philadelphia Flyers vs St. Louis Blues|
|Mar 14, 2015||Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues|
|Mar 15, 2015||St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars|
St. Louis Blues Past Games Schedule and St. Louis Blues Scores
|Mar 1, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Vancouver Canucks||5 - 6|
|Feb 28, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Edmonton Oilers||2 - 1|
|Feb 26, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Winnipeg Jets||2 - 1|
|Feb 24, 2015||Montreal Canadiens - St. Louis Blues||5 - 2|
|Feb 21, 2015||Pittsburgh Penguins - St. Louis Blues||4 - 2|
|Feb 20, 2015||Boston Bruins - St. Louis Blues||1 - 5|
|Feb 17, 2015||Dallas Stars - St. Louis Blues||4 - 1|
|Feb 15, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Florida Panthers||2 - 1|
|Feb 12, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Tampa Bay Lightning||6 - 3|
|Feb 8, 2015||Chicago Blackhawks - St. Louis Blues||4 - 2|
|Feb 6, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Columbus Blue Jackets||1 - 7|
|Feb 5, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Buffalo Sabres||3 - 0|
|Feb 1, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Washington Capitals||4 - 3|
|Jan 30, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Carolina Hurricanes||3 - 2|
|Jan 29, 2015||Nashville Predators - St. Louis Blues||4 - 5|
|Jan 19, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - St. Louis Blues||1 - 3|
|Jan 17, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - St. Louis Blues||0 - 3|
|Jan 15, 2015||Detroit Red Wings - St. Louis Blues||3 - 2|