Comparing last year’s Blues with this year’s

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Comparing last year’s Blues with this year’s

Story and captions by Jack Petterchak, Guest Reporter

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In their 50 year history, the St. Louis Blues have been a great team. However, they have never won the Stanley Cup. They got really close last year, defeating both the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars, but they ended up losing the Western Conference Final in six games. The Blues did have a good run, and they’re doing fairly well this year, so we’re analyzing the similarities and differences between the Blues of last year and the Blues of this year. Hopefully, they can finally win the Stanley Cup.

    The Blues of last year finished with a record of 49-24-9 and earned a total of 107 points, giving them a 2nd place finish in the Central Division (Dallas won the Western Division, 50-23-9, 109 pts.). So far, they are 10-6-3 this year with 23 points and are again 2nd in the Central Division behind the Blackhawks, however, they have a -4 goal differential (4 more goals given up than goals scored) compared to a +23 goal differential last season. This may be due in part to a 5-0 loss against the New York Rangers, a 6-2 loss against the Stars, and an 8-4 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, those losses were all on the road and if the Blues don’t step up their game on the road, it’s unlikely that they’ll make it far in the playoffs.

Their powerplay is pretty good (21.2%, 10th) and their Penalty Kill is great (89.6%, 2nd). The Penalty Kill is a great part of the team. Compare this to last year, the  about the same on the Power Play, (21.5%PP) but our Penalty Kill is better (85.1%). This is a great sign.

Our goaltender, Jake Allen, is pretty good, but by no means spectacular. He has a 2.35 Goals Against Average and a .910 Save Percentage. This is about the same as Jake Allen last year, but he shared it with then-Blue Brian Elliott. He was traded to the Calgary Flames. Elliott was a better goaltender than Allen that year with a 2.07 GAA and a .930 SV% compared to Allen’s .920 last year. You need an elite goalie to win games. The Blues don’t have the eliteness this year.

This team is just not as good as last year. They couldn’t bring back Backes, they couldn’t bring back Brouwer, they couldn’t bring back Ott, they couldn’t make a lot of big signings other than bringing Perron back, and they traded away Elliott. They still have some pretty talented players and they’re likely going to make the Playoffs, but chances are, they’re going to get another first round exit. But who knows? Maybe they get hot and win it all. Most President’s Trophy winners don’t do well in the postseason. Are they going to follow up last year with another great year? It’s not likely, but it is possible.

INTERVIEW with NICK

JACK: How do you think this team compares to last year’s team?

NICK: “I think that the team has changed a lot from last year. They should have not traded some of the players that they did.”

JACK: Do you think this year’s team is better than last year’s team?

NICK: “I don’t think so.”

JACK: Will they win the Stanley Cup?

NICK: “No. I don’t think so this year because if they would’ve kept the team the same, they would’ve won.”

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