Another team facing the Detroit/Chicago/Nashville trifecta of fury, the Blues have paid their dues and put in the time to rebuild their team and expect to win big this year. Winners in the E. Johnson- Stewart/Shattenkirk trade with the Avs, they have built a scoring powerhouse for the 2011-2012 season …as long as they stay off the injured reserve list.
- Forward, Forward, Forward – With a front end that includes Dave Backes (the new Sheriff in town), Patrik Berglund and TJ Oshie, this team is more stacked than Dolly Parton in a corset. The team had 7 forwards with 40+ points (Backes, Stewart, Berglund, Steen, McDonald, D’Agostini, and Shattenkirk respectively) and that was without Oshie and Perron for a good portion of the season. If both are healthy, expect a couple additions to the +40 club this season.
- Alex Pietrangelo – The top defenseman for the Blues, at 21 he earned his spot as a top 2 D-man last season when the injury bug bit. Finishing the season with 43 points and a +18 (highest defenseman +/- rating on the team), Pietrangelo is expected to blossom this season and continue to be a reliable blue line boy. The only thing holding him back is inexperience.
- Unhealthy Scratches – Concussions, sprained knees, wrecked ankles, oh my! The Blues dropped like flies last season, leaving Coach Payne (points for name epicness) scrambling to fill roster slots. Very few rookies who were pulled up produced, leaving the team working with their B-squad against some of the best of the league (anyone remember those Nucks?). If the guys stay healthy this season, they could…go..all…the…way… to the playoffs (7thish in the West?)
- The Good, the Bad, and
the Ugly– Mind your manners, boys! Although they kept Crombeen, the departure of Cam Janssen has left a hefty enforcer hole. Each posted 17 fights last season and with the forward power stated above and their ability to get hurt, someone has to step up to drop gloves.
- David Perron – After a devastating concussion in November, it has been announced that Perron won’t be back for the start of the season. Don’t count him out yet, though! Perron has been making a name for himself since he hit the ice for the Blues in the 07-08 season. Since posting 27 points that first season, he scored 50 and 47 points the following two seasons. At 23, Perron could have a lot of hockey ahead of him, concussion syndrome pending. St. Louis fans wait with baited breath to see the Kid Line (Perron-Oshie-Berglund) once again.