Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have loaned the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles for the year, it’s time for us to once again peruse the various also-rans in the NHL before the Hawks get down to the formality of reclaiming the Cup in June 2015. We continue our series with the St. Louis Blues
Since it cannot possibly get any better than spotting the Blues and their horde of super mutant fans a 2 game lead in a playoff series only to storm back and win four straight AND help write the eulogy, I hope you’re all ready to be disappointed by this preview. Another season of Hatecaps begins with our look at the 2014-15 iteration of the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues made one decent move to help their top end scoring and then offset it by destroying their depth through a series of baffling decisions. They’ll have a very nice, maybe even excellent regular season once again. Then they’ll crash out of the playoffs right away because that’s what the Blues always do. Also the Hawks, Kings and probably the Ducks are better than them.
The addition of Paul Stastny is a big deal because he cost them a lot of money. Presumably, they expect him to improve upon the 57 point per season average over his last three non-lockout seasons. He’ll supplement American heroes of the Duck Dynasty variety in David Backes and TJ Oshie.
They decided to bring back urinal booger Steve Ott and jettisoned perennial pain in the ass Vlad Sobotka to Siberia. A curious move, sure. More curious yet is that breakout winger Jaden Schwartz as of this writing remains unsigned, filling his downtime by eating his weight in toasted ravioli. The Blues say the system is more important than any single player and thus they seem unwilling to budge on a figure of couple hundred thousand dollars. If the Blues decide to piss away 2/3 of the only line that actually concerned me (Schwartz, Sobotka, Vladimir Tarasenko) that’d be just fine.
In the meantime, Twitter Superstar and ersatz NHL player Paul Bissonnette is in camp on a tryout basis. It’s unclear whether the Blues wanted to keep him on the roster just to try and out-Blues themselves or if they’ve got the St. Louis version of Dr. Mengele ready to build some kind of goony Voltron piece of crap out the best parts of Bissonnette and Reaves.
David Backes spent his offseason roasting adopted pets over a campfire.
Max Lapierre sells drugs at your child’s school.
The Blues still boast a really effective top three in Pietrangelo, Jabe O’Meester, and Kevin Shattenkirk. They traded escaped circus bear Roman Polak to the Leafs for Carl Gunnarsson who has a degenerative hip condition or something. Nice work there.
Barret Jackman is still, inexplicably, allowed to play hockey and maintain residence in the United States. His longevity spawned what would be the worst account on Twitter if not for the Blues Blogger account that only tweets tear-off calendar pablum quotes. I’m not sure what Jackman has planned for his 32nd season manning the Blues 3rd pair but I’m certain the day he retires he’s going straight into the rafters of the Scottrade Center. By which I mean he’s going to physically climb to the top of the building and live there, subsisting on rainwater and whatever creatures he manages to capture.
“Look there’s old Barret Jackman,” a father might say to his son upon visiting the arena. “When it gets real quiet, like after another Blues first round exit, you can hear his hooves clanking ‘gainst the steel on high and an accompanying ear-piercing cackle as he tears into uncooked rodent flesh.”
“Wow dad that is super fucked up,” is how the son would reply before he spends the next years of his life plotting the swiftest possible exit from St. Louis.
Ryan Miller didn’t work out. Not sure who could have seen that coming, except for literally everyone. So this year the Blues have Brian Elliott who believe it or not has pretty good even-strength save percentage numbers over the last few seasons. He’ll be backed up by Jay Gallon who’s got potential breakout star written all over him by nature of the Blues strong defensive play. I don’t think this will be as big of a weakness as others but it won’t matter because someone else will screw up when it actually counts.
The Blues will hang their 2013-14 The Hockey News Preseason Favorites banner to start the season. If they get off to another good start, they’ll pile up points and likely finish in the top two of Conference III. My hope is that this is finally the year they stumble out of the gate and tune out Ken Hitchcock, a man who I’m starting to suspect is the glue holding this thing together. He’s famously had teams quit on him in the past. A prolonged losing streak to start the season might do the trick.
An anagram for Saint Louis is It’s Anus Oil
ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?: