Wednesday, September 26, 2018

St. Louis Blues 2018-19 season preview



                After a disappointing season where they missed the playoffs by one game, the St. Louis Blues went out and had one of the best offseasons any team had this year. They fixed their center problems, and didn't mess up their good defensive core. Before we look at their roster, here's some fast facts for the St. Louis Blues.

Head Coach: Mike Yeo
General Manager: Doug Armstrong
Arena: Scottrade Center
AHL Affiliate: San Antonio Rampage
2017-18 record: 44-32-6 (94 points)
2017-18 placement: 5th
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Vladimir Tarasenko (33)
2017-18 assists leader: Brayden Schenn (42)
2017-18 points leader: Brayden Schenn (70)
2017-18 points leader (defensemen): Alex Pietrangelo
Captain: Alex Pietrangelo
Assistant Captains: Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen
2018 first round pick: Dominik Bokk

Offseason additions: Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Patrick Maroon, Tyler Bozak, Chad Johnson, Jordan Nolan

Offseason subtractions: Carter Hutton, Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka, Tage Thompson, Kyle Brodziak, Scottie Upshall, Beau Bennett

Forwards: Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz already formed a good first line. But, the team always lacked in center depth. Enter Ryan O'Reilly and Tyler Bozak, plus the awaited debut of Robert Thomas, and now it's one of the league's best cores. David Perron and Patrick Maroon are two good top-9 wingers that were brought in. After missing 18 months, Robby Fabbri finally returns.

Forward lines:

Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko
Patrick Maroon - Ryan O'Reilly - Alexander Steen
Robby Fabbri - Tyler Bozak - David Perron
Ivan Barbashev - Robert Thomas - Dmitrij Jaskin
Other: Nikita Soshnikov, Oskar Sundqvist

Defensemen: Alex Pietrangelo had a great start, and looked like a Norris contender at times in 2017-18. Colton Parakyo has established himself as a good top-4 defenseman. While Jay Bouwmeester fell off, Joel Edmundson arose last year. Carl Gunnarsson and Vince Dunn fill out the last two spots.

Defensive pairs:

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Colton Parakyo
Carl Gunnarsson - Vince Dunn
Other: Robert Bortuzzo, Jordan Schmaltz

Goalies: Losing Carter Hutton after his breakout season hurts, but they trust Jake Allen. They even trust Chad Johnson to be his backup, over Steve Mason and Kari Lehtonen. This is their biggest weakness.

Goalie alignment:

Jake Allen
Chad Johnson
Other: Ville Husso

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Vladimir Tarasenko
Ryan O'Reilly
Brayden Schenn
Jaden Schwartz
Alex Pietrangelo

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 3rd

I think the St. Louis Blues will be eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs. 

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