(Photo Credit: Associated Press)
Dad Joke time!
I broke up with my girlfriend, she said it was because of my obsession with the Monkees.
At first I thought she was kidding.
And then I saw her face…!
I’m way more “Bear-ish” on the Blues than the other Blues Rants contributors. There’s no doubt that the team improved immensely July 1st. But I keep looking at Nashville and Winnipeg and thinking the Blues remain the 3rd best team in the Central.
No longer satisfied to be a Debbie Downer, here’s 5 achievable things the Blues must do to make me a believer. Ordered from least important to most important.
5) The fourth line can’t suck. My mantra for NHL 4th lines is “Don’t screw up”. Anytime they carry the play, that’s a bonus. Don’t get scored on, don’t draw an inordinate amount of penalties, don’t force too many defensive zone draws. The Blues will probably be ok here, but it’s a concern.
I feel bad for Jay Bouwmeester. We’ve witnessed his body break down over the last 3 seasons. He’ll be the old veteran the team rally’s behind in the playoffs. WIN ONE FOR JAYBO. But in no way shape or form should #19 be getting top 4 pairing minutes.
3) Someone needs to step up and earn the final top 6 forward spot.
In my head, 5 of my top 6 forwards are Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Vladmir Tarasenko, Ryan O’Reilly, and David Perron. Someone, and I don’t care if it’s Kyrou, Thomas, or a re-surgent Alexander Steen; someone must play the entire season like they belong there.
2) Everyone else must play ‘as expected’. The top line doesn’t need any MVP candidates. The 2nd line doesn’t need to score 90 goals. Tyler Bozak doesn’t need a career year. But the Blues can’t afford any disappearing acts either.
1) Jake Allen must be better. Period. End of story. No further analysis necessary.
Random final thoughts
Can we please stop bashing Sobotka and Berglund now? Berglund had 17 goals and 9 assists in 57 games last year. That’s a 24 goal pace. Sobotka had 11 goals and 20 assists. Those statistics are indicative of a player that belongs in this league.
Oh yeah, their contracts aren’t that out of line. Sobotka maybe is 500k too high on AAV, Berglund is maybe a year too long in term. But neither of their cap hits were the anvils Blues fans made them out to be.
Bury the hatchet on Tage Thompson too. He said nothing bad about the city or the fans. Just implied that Yeo had him on too short of a leash.
- Less than 12 minutes a game.
- Routinely on the 4th line.
- Healthy scratched.
- Thompson had a point.
I can take or leave a Maroon signing. Cap room is an asset; I’d want to be pretty sure that Maroon is the final piece because Maroon’s claim to fame is being smart enough to drive the net while on McDavid’s line. He’s not a bad player, but I’d rather not take the roster spot from a 750k kid on his entry level contract.
You May Also Like:
- Making a case for a Top Line of Perron, O’Reilly, and Tarasenko
- Hockey FAQ: UFA’s and RFA’s
- Don’t Forget Poganski
- High Hopes for Hofer
- St. Louis Blues: Doug Armstrong’s 4H Solution
- St. Louis Blues: Down The Middle