ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Blues’ perfect start to the season has come with some surprise, when taking into account the handful of starters missing due to injuries.
NHL analyst Barry Melrose, a six-year NHL veteran, former NHL head coach and one of the top hockey minds on TV, shared his thoughts on the Blues with KMOX Sports’ Alex Ferrario.
Listen to the full interview at the 6:45 mark:
Here were some of his points on this year’s Blues roster:
On the win in Pittsburgh: They did it by committee, the defense joined the rush all night long… I think (Colton) Parayko is going to have a big year offensively, I don’t think (Alex) Pietrangelo is going to get two goals every game, but he was rock solid defensively as he always is, he put in two. Obviously, (Vladimir) Tarasenko is a guy that has to have a big year for the St Louis Blues.
Can St. Louis survive the Central Division?:
There’s no reason to think the Central isn’t going to be the toughest division in hockey again, which it usually is…Colorado goes on the road and beats the New York Rangers. I think the central is tough, if you look at the teams right now, you know, Dallas is much better, Nashville went the Stanley Cup Finals last year, Chicago, it doesn’t look like the (Artemi) Panarin trade isn’t going to affect them too much, (Brandon) Saad comes in and gets a hat trick in his first game.
The injuries will hold them back:
I think because it’s so equal and so level, the playing field, that when a team gets the injuries the St Louis Blues have, that’s a reason to think that they’re not going to get the job done. So, we have to wait 10 games to see how it’s going to shake out, how these injuries are going to affect the Blues.
But it’s got to affect them, you can’t lose players of the quality they lost and it not affect them.
People in St. Louis will love Brayden Schenn:
He’s got a lot of grit, goes to traffic areas, he’s a good all around player and has become much better defensivley the last couple years. So, I think the St Louis people will love the way plays, he’s a St. Louis-type player… I think that acquisition will pay off most of the year.
Impressed by Mike Yeo’s preparation and decision-making:
Very organized, very structured, never loses his cool, always prepared. On the bench he’s very good, he very rarely, if at all, has the wrong guys on the ice. That’s a big part of the coaching duty, is to make sure you’ve got the right guys on the ice and in the right situations… and I’ve always been impressed with Mike for the decisions he makes behind the bench and and how he never gets flustered.
So, I think he’s going to do a really good job in St Louis this year and they’ll be there at the end. St. Louis will be there at the end, probably with six other teams from the Central, but it’s going to be a very interesting battle all year long.