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- Updated: May 11, 2012
Three Periods with resident Blues fan/Hockey expert Jeremy Green, AKA Jer Bear, Jerry, Gerald, Jeronomous…
First Period – Did that just happen?
Really, we just got swept by the 8th seed, by any seed? We were the second best team in the league. We were supposed to be playoff ready under Hitchcock. We had something no one else had, a 1-2 punch in goal that couldn’t be matched. Then it happened, Halak went down for what seemed like a minor injury that turned into a major pain. Elliott was more than sufficient in round 1 in finishing off San Jose and our power play was so hot it was like the man San Jose was down was the goalie, everything was clicking.
Round 2 was a different story, of all the lineup changes Hitch made he couldn’t make the one he really needed and wanted to make. No I’m not blaming being swept on Elliott, or future Norris Trophy candidate Alex Pietrangelo (trust me this guy’s a stud, he may never win the Norris, but he will be considered more and more each year) went down in game 1, we flat out got outplayed in games 2 and 3, and Jonothan Quick is a wall and could win the Vezina Trophy later this year. But when he needed to the most Hitch couldn’t go to Halak in game 2 when we gave up 4 goals in the first period, after that I think a healthy Halak would’ve played the rest of the series. Which I also believe would’ve woken up the rest of the team, and at least pushed the series to 6 games if not 7.
Second Period – What do we do now?
After what really was an overachievement of an offseason, we fail to make the Cup Finals again. So what do we do now? I love our goalie setup and don’t think anything needs to change there, we learned very early in the playoffs having two great goalies is a nice commodity. Some would say we could really use a scorer, someone that could score 30 goals a year, but who’s out there and at what price? Plus I think if Andy McDonald and David Perron stay healthy for a better part of a season, they can be those scorers. I think our real need is at defense, and yes I mean we need to let Jackman go. Yes, he’s a great leader and competitor, but I watch a lot of games, I’ve never seen a veteran defender turn the puck over so many times in his own zone. Halak and Elliot have made some highlight saves that are saving his mistakes, but it doesn’t always work that way, just ask the Kings. We need another stud defenseman that can practically shut down a line on his own and sprinkle some help on offense as well. I don’t know what will be out there in free agency or via trades, but I really hope this gets addressed.
I also think we could use some size up front. All year long I kept hearing about how big we were in the first three lines, with Backes, Berglund, and Arnott at center, but when I watched the Kings series we looked like a college team compared to them. Speed and grit are great and I know that’s what Hitchcock loves, but in a sport as physical as hockey, especially in the playoffs where apparently anything goes (REFS YOU SUCK), we need more size on practically every line. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, if you can’t skate through someone instead of around them after getting knocked down ten times (REFS YOU SUCK), then it does you no good. In case you missed it, REFS YOU SUCK… NHL you really have to clean this up, it’s just so bad.
Third Period – What will the new ownership bring?
I don’t know much about the new ownership group lead by Tom Stillman, but what from what I’m hearing this is great news for the St. Louis Blues and the city of St. Louis. Stillman is a HUGE hockey fan and loves the Blues. Not that many were worried, but worry no more, we’re not losing our hockey team St. Louis. Even though we typically play a third fiddle to the Cardinals and even the lowly Rams in this town, we learned very quickly how passionate of a hockey town we are this year. We were so hungry for the playoffs that we couldn’t wait and even though it ended way too abruptly the future looks bright. The tough part for fans to swallow will be when ticket prices go up. They’re locked in for next season, but they will go up after that, you can almost guarantee it. And guess what they need to, in order the Blues organization start making some money and to be able to spend in free agency, ticket prices will have to go up. While this may hurt at first, just ask yourself one question. How much would you pay to see Lord Stanley’s Cup raised in St. Louis?
Overtime – Thank You
I just wrote a lot about what was wrong with St. Louis Blues this season and what I think needs to be done moving forward, but please don’t think for one minute that I don’t appreciate what they did this year. The guts, grit, determination, and heart they showed this year in coming oh so close to winning the President’s Trophy and winning our first playoff series since 2002 even after switching coaches early in the season, unimaginable. I could not be more proud to be a St. Louis Blues fan. After every home game the whole team came on the ice to raise their sticks in salute to some of the greatest sports fans in America. Well now I’m raising my stick, hat, jersey, skate, and anything else I can to you Blues. Thank you so much for such a memorable season, and I look forward to many more in the very near future.
Photo courtesy of flickr user MPR529