ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Tonight the St. Louis Blues begin its 50th NHL season, and it’s the 14th for Chris Kerber as the Voice of the Blues on KMOX.
He gave KMOX five points of emphasis that Blues fans should focus on headed into Wednesday’s season opener in Chicago. You can hear the game live on the air at 7 p.m. on AM1120 or online at KMOX.com/listen:
The finished product will be great:
“This team had to deal with some of their key guys not in (the preseason) from the standpoint that they were at the World Cup. So it wouldn’t surprise me to see a little up and down aspect from the first part of the season.”
The Blues lost two of its top 10 points leaders from 2015-16, in David Backes (4th on the team with 45 points) and Troy Brouwer (6th on the team with 39 points).
Nail Yakupov is a no-downside deal:
“Nail Yakupov has got some skill. Nail Yakupov has some ability. Nail Yakupov is going to come in and have a friend in Vladimir Tarasenko which is big. I don’t know what the total is. Is it 30 points? Is it 40 points? You know he’s got the ability to get that in the national hockey league.”
Yakupov is the first-overall draft pick from 2012. In his best season, he had 31 points in 48 games with Edmonton, but Edmonton dead last in its division in two of the last three seasons.
Jake Allen is learning to be a No. 1:
“There is going to be a little of a roller coaster I think on that front. He’s going to have to learn to manage it and I think as the season goes on we’re going to see that process and that development. And I think he is going to be fantastic with that.”
Allen started 44 games in 2015-16, and went 26-15-3 with a .920 save percentage. And vs. the Chicago Blackhawks in his career, he is 6-4-2.
Blues have learned how to take care of themselves:
“These are comments the players have made to me…They realized how much team matters. They realized how much you’ve got to lean on your teammates. They realized how much that you had to be ready to play, even if you hadn’t played in the first round-and-a-half or two rounds, because your number is getting called because of injuries or becuase of whatever matchups are needed.”
This was very similar to what new Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo told KMOX’s Chris Hrabe on Tuesday. These Blues seem to think they now have the mindset and preparation that’s needed for a deep postseason run.
Speaking of postseason…
Playoff race starts today:
“Because you could have a bad start and it could put you behind the 8-ball the entire season. You could have a great start and it can make a huge difference on how you can manage your team throughout the year.”
The Blues are 37-14-6 in the first month of the season in the last six seasons, and have gone 4-2 in the first game of the season in those years.
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