Blues Have One More Year of Rebuilding
The Blues looked like they were on the way up to the top and finally out of the rebuilding stage last year. They also showed that it's going to take a lot more offensive consistency for them to get to the top of the division.
With a majority of their goals coming from Brad Boyes, the Blues will need a lot more secondary scoring this year now that every team knows about Boyes' ability to put the puck in the back of the net.
The addition of Patrick Berglund should help, but he is more of a pass-first-shoot-second type of player. The other key forward prospect looking to play this year is T.J. Oshie, and he is more of an energy player then a scorer.
The defense should be much better this year, but the defense wasn't always the problem last year. A lot of games were lost 1-0 or 2-0. They can't be faulted for a loss when the offense only scores one or two goals.
Alex Pietrangelo should be able to step into the NHL by the start of the season. He should help this core group of young defensemen grow and build as a unit.
The major problem for the Blues was their special teams. They just could not bury their chances on the power play. Don't expect to see much of a change there, with no real additions made to the offensive unit. Their penalty kill should grow, with key forwards like Jay McClement and David Backes returning.
The Blues will continue to improve as a team, but are still a year and a skilled forward away from competing with the top of the Western Conference. That doesn't mean you should necessarily count the Blues out for one of the eight playoff spots up for grabs.
Expect better things in years to come with John Davidson showing he knows how to run an NHL team. They should end the season above .500 or hovering right around it. Anything else would have to be seen as a disappointment.
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