ST. LOUIS BLUES
Team Page | Roster | Stats
Regular Season Record: 41-31-10, 92 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 2-2-0
Last Stanley Cup Win: None
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 1970
Last Postseason Appearance: 2004
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Andy McDonald (1), Dan Hinote (1), Manny Legace (1)
A reason to cheer for the Blues: There may be no better story this season than what has occurred in the Gateway City. Heading into the season, most predicted the Blues to battle the Islanders for the league's worst record. When they lost blue chip defenceman Erik Johnson prior to the season to a freak golf cart injury, it appeared that the writing was on the wall - and it only got worse. Veterans Paul Kariya, Eric Brewer and Andy McDonald all missed extended stretches and the team appeared to hit rock bottom when goaltender Manny Legace injured his ankle tripping on a carpet laid out for Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin prior to a game. While the Blues had every reason to play dead, they persevered and got better as the season went on. The fact that they were in a playoff race at all is a minor miracle - everything from here on in is icing on the cake.
What They Bring To The Table: The team has exceeded all expectations by reaching the post-season, so the Blues could be forgiven if they are just happy to be here. That however, is not the team's style. What they lack in skill and star-power they more than make up for with dedication, hard work and team-wide defensive responsibility. The Blues will likely live and die in the post-season on special teams - they own the third best penalty killing percentage at 83.8 percent and a top 10 power play unit, firing at a 20.5 percent clip. While they remain a largely anonymous bunch, there is reason to be excited thanks to the breakout campaigns by their young forwards. Brad Boyes may be one of the best kept secrets in the league, setting a career-high in points while hitting the 30 goal plateau for the second straight season. David Backes, David Perron and rookies Patrik Berglund and T.J. Oshie all offer additional offensive pop, while veterans Keith Tkachuk and Andy McDonald round out a well-balanced attack. Chris Mason has been a revelation in net for St. Louis after taking over the number one position from former All-Star Manny Legace, however Mason lacks Legace's playoff experience. While Mason got his post-season feet wet with the Predators in 2006, Legace captured a Cup with the Wings in 2002. What might be the Blues' ultimate undoing is how hard they had to work to make it in to the 'Big Dance.' With all that energy expended down the stretch, will the young Blues have anything left in the tank when the games mean their most? Even if they get knocked out early, this season has to be considered an enormous success.