JACOBER: The Blues–Good Enough?
Chicken Little here. I’m concerned about the Blues heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Yes, I know they have had a shockingly good season featuring the best goaltending in the NHL–truly one of the best in the history of the league post expansion. And, I know they have come so far back since they had the worst record in the NHL in the 2005–2006 season when Scott Trade center was like a morgue on game nights. I also know that they have made the playoffs just one time since 2004….and were eliminated in four straight in the first round by Vancouver. So, color me skeptical.
And, it drives me crazy that the Blues cannot win in Chicago. Maybe that’s why I cautious. They have played six games at the United Center over the past two seasons and lost all six. The Blues have allowed 25 goals in those six games. Thursday night they didn’t play with much passion or focus. They were outshot 40–20 by the Black Hawks. They won’t last long in the playoffs giving up 40 shots even with Juroslav Halak or Brian Elliot in goal. Maybe they are just tired. But, don’t tell me you are tired going into the playoffs. The Blues also have big time trouble against Los Angeles and Nashville. Their goalie, Pekka Renne, treats the Blues offense like it is a disease.
For much of the season, the Blues allowed the fewest shots on goal in the league. But, that’s changed in recent games.
The Blues have ONE player (David Backes) with more than 20 goals. How can you have the season they have had with that kind of offense? Because they have bought into Ken Hitchcock’s system– they suffocate the opponents offense. If they are going to go anywhere in the pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup, they had better return to that style of play. The Western Conference is so much better from top to bottom than the East and there won’t be a lot of difference between the top seed and the 8th seed. Maybe I should be more optimistic. But, as the resident Chicken Little, the person who constantly warns that a calamity is imminent, I am worried about the Note in the playoffs. I guess I’ve seen and broadcast too many Blues failures. Go ahead. Tell me I’m nuts. Tell me I’m wrong.