Last season, only one player had more than 50 points. And no one scored more than 25.
So how did the Blues address this problem in the offseason? By going out and trading an offensive prospect for a new #1 goalie.
No wonder they’re going to miss the playoffs again.
Best offseason move: Locking up Erik Johnson. Okay, so they only locked him up for two years. But Johnson, a former #1 draft pick, is still a young talented defenceman. And in a few years, could be challenging Drew Doughty and Duncan Keith for the Norris. So signing him (and not letting it drag on like the one between the Ducks and Bobby Ryan) was a smart move.
Worst offseason move: Trading for Jaroslav Halak. Yes, I know. Halak is the saviour. But just keep the following in mind when you judge the $15 million man as the season wears on. Halak has never played more than 45 games in a regular season (so it will be interesting to see if his stamina can keep up all season long). Halak’s regular season numbers last season were influenced by the fact he played against non-playoff teams (more info here). And if you look at Halak’s playoffs, yes, they were great. But he benefitted from a team that bought into a system. They players in front of him blocked a lot of shots, and forced the opposition to shoot from the outside, where Halak could see most of the shots. When teams started screening and going to the net (such as the Philadelphia Flyers), the Habs system was doomed to fail. And with the influx of good talented goalies out there, the Blues had better options.
Dark horse trophy candidate: Brad Boyes for the Rocket Richard
Pool pick: Brad Boyes. He only had 42 points last year. He had that many goals two seasons ago. Last year, he had 72 points. This was an offyear for him. Look for him to bounce back with about 65 points. Who to stay away from: David Backes. He normally hovers around 50-point mark. I expect to finish in the low 40s this season.
Best hall of fame choice: They don’t really have anyone who can make it to the hall of fame. It could have been Paul Kariya, but he’s technically a free agent, and won’t be playing this season due to a concussion. So for now, we’ll have to go on potential. That leaves us with Alex Pietrangelo. He has a gold and a silver medal at the world juniors, and that’s about it. What else do you want? I said it was on potential.
Blog to follow: St. Louis Game Time
My Prediction: Fourth in the Central, 11th in the West
Famous celebrity from that city: Sheryl Crow