Season Wrapup: St. Louis Blues
Last year, the Blues roared into the playoffs riding one of the hottest second half records in the entire NHL. This season, in a tightly contested Western Conference, the Blues came up just a bit short, missing the playoffs by just two games. Unlike last year, howver, the Blues weren’t bitten so hard by the injury bug, and had just about all their key players in action all season.
Offense: C- The Blues struggled to score goals this year, and had only two players with more than 20 goas. Andy McDonald and Alex Steen led the team with 24 goals apiece, while their two big power forwards, TJ Oshie and David Backes both tied with 48 points . Brad Boyes had a bit of an off year, scoring only 14 goals after scoring 43 and 33 in the past two seasons.
Defense: C+ With the team struggling to score goals the way they did, the Blues needed to be a bit better defensively if they were hoping to make a run at a postseason berth. They have some talented members on the blueline, led by American Olympian Erik Johnson, who is the cornerstone around which they’ll be building this defensive corps over the next few seasons. Johnson finished the season with 39 points and a +1 rating, while captain Eric Brewer struggled a bit this year, finishing with just 15 points and a -17 rating. The addition of Alex Pietrangelo next year should help.
Goaltending: B+ Chris Mason has quietly put together yet another solid season, winning 30 games with a 2.53 GAA and a .913 save percentage. One of the Blues’ main objectives this offseason should be to re-sign the talented netminder, as he has proven he can be the reliable starter they need. Ty Conklin was very capable in his role as a backup, winning 10 games and posting a 2.48 GAA and .921 save percentage.
Special Teams: C Opposite ends of the spectrum for the Blues here. Their penalty kill was the best in the league, allowing only 45 goals despite having the most penalty minutes of any team. Their powerplay was a different story, converting just 17% of their opportunities, and they finished with just 53 goals on 306 opportunities.
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