WARMANN: Are Blues made for Playoffs?
(KMOX, St. Louis) You get the feeling that the Blues are in a position to not only make the playoffs for the first time in three years, but they have ability to make it past the first round for the first time in 10 years. It would be great if the Note could add a goal scorer to boost the offense, especially on the power play before the trade deadline, but it doesn’t appear that will happen because of the new ownership situation that’s not completed. So the question is can this team go far in the playoffs without making a big deal for a goal scorer? The answer I believe is yes and here are some reasons why I think it can happen:
1-The Blues goaltending tandem has been outstanding this season, the best in the league. All hockey experts and insiders will tell you that goaltending is as important as anything else with a successful playoff team. The Blues obviously have it, especially with Jaroslav Halak and his playoff success with Montreal two years ago.
2-When healthy the Blues are one of the deepest teams in the NHL. It’s been a while since we have seen a team completely healthy here in St. Louis, but if the Note can do so in April they can roll four lines out with the best in the league. And if that happens, teams could get worn down as the grind of a best of 7 series rolls on. It would however be beneficial if Patrick Bergland and Chris Stewart would play to their potential and chip in more on the offensive side of things.
3-I would have never thought that a coaching change, especially midseason, would make such a difference to a team, but it has with the Blues. Ken Hitchcock has the players buying into his philosophy and that will bode well for a team that doesn’t have a lot of playoff experience, but a coach who knows what it takes to win it all.
I’m really looking forward to watching some playoff hockey here in St. Louis in April because there’s nothing like it. But if the Blues want to play into May and possibly June these three things need to happen.
Scott Warmann is a host on the Sports Hub