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2018-2019 NHL Preview: St. Louis Blues

The Blues offense just got better with Ryan O’Reilly

St. Louis Blues v Columbus Blue Jackets

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Seventeenth up are the St. Louis Blues who are in their 51st season in the NHL. After making the playoffs for six consecutive seasons, they missed it last year finished 5th in the Central Division.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 20th
Goals for Rank: 24th
Goals against Rank: 6th
PP Rank: 30th
PK Rank: 18th

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 15th
Western Conference Standings: 8th
Central Division Standings: 4th
Coach: Mike Yeo 3rd season with St. Louis (239-172-52 Total Regular Season; 17-22 Total Playoffs)

Overview:

It’s amazing the Blues were the 24th best offense last year considering the strong offense they possess. In the offseason they added to the strengths of Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Alex Steen and Robby Fabbri by getting Ryan O’Reilly and Patrick Maroon which added the best faceoff center in the league and some gritty size in Maroon. I would not be surprised if their goals for jumped to the top 7 in the league this season. Them being 30th in power play is equally confounding owner both Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn, two of the best 20 players in the league on power plays. They are equally strong on defense with Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Joel Edmundson and Vince Dunn. They held strong last year allowing the 3rd fewest shots against the 6th fewest goals against. With a strong offense AND defense, one could argue this team should do better than barely slipping into the playoffs and that is due to my trepidation about their situation in net. Jake Allen had a bit of a down year with a 2.75 GAA and a .906 Sv% but he looked lost at times in net which makes me nervous. Additionally they lost Carter Hutton and now have Chad Johnson as backup which is a marked step down in my opinion. They lost Martin Brodeur in their front office and that is one less HOFer adding some expertise to the goalies. Jake’s slight rebound (most likely with an improved PK unit) will be offset by Chad Johnson hurting them as their backup.

“A Stanley Cup is possible,” O’Reilly said earlier this week at the BioSteel Pro Hockey Camp in Toronto. “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely possible.”

Major Additions:

Patrick Maroon, Ryan O’Reilly & Chad Johnson

Major Subtractions:

Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka & Carter Hutton

Prospects and Picks:

-Dominik Bokk. Taken 25th overall in the 2018 NHL draft, Dominik is quick with a strong shot. He put up 2 points in 15 games in the Swedish elite league last year. His effort comes and goes and will certainly be something he needs to work on before he enters the pros.

-Robert Thomas. Taken 20th overall in the 2017 NHL draft, Robert spent 3 years with the London Knights scoring 127 points across 133 games. Last year he was with the Hamilton Bulldogs where he scored 29 points in 22 games. He is strong with the puck and a solid two way center but he tends to ignore his linemates on offense and he has some maturation yet to go.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Patrick Maroon. I highlight him with an asterisk as he is not an elite scorer but he is a big physical presence who has a decent shot and when aligned next to a star center (as he was with Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall) he can create the disturbing presence in front of the net to help distract players and goalies. He will give you a few goals, some assists and a boat load of PIMs.

-Robert Thomas could land in the top 9 and in the 2nd power play unit as a sneaky source of 30-40 points in deep leagues.

Cap Situation:

$62MM Spent; $12M in Cap room; 18 players signed; average team age 27.

Poll

Are the Blues in the top ten in Power Play this year?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Yes
    (15 votes)
  • 31%
    No
    (7 votes)
22 votes total Vote Now