Sorry for being a pessimist here but I don't think we'll get very far. It'll most likely be another first round loss. We have the goaltending and defense, but we lack scoring. Big time. The Blues are now on a winless streak right before the playoffs because they can't score. We need an offensive superstar; we lack that guy who can give us 30+ goals every season. Depth with a bunch of guys scoring 15-20 goals a season isn't going to cut it in the playoffs.
We don't even have an offensive favorite like we had with Hull. There's no one offensive guy that stands out. I hope I'm wrong, though.
I'd love an offensive star on this team....however...
We had a team with Shanahan & Hull up front, and we never got to the 3rd round.
Would anyone be surprised if the Capitals with their offensive weapons lost in the 1st round?
I know you have to score to win...but everyone knows defense & goaltending is what wins in the playoffs.
And who has the best defense and goaltending in the NHL?
I'd rather have what we have, than a team with some offensive superstars that can't keep the puck out of the net. We've had that before and never did anything with it.
I agree that goaltending is the most important factor, however, what good is the best goaltending if it remains 0-0 game? Philly has Claude Giroux. Kings have Jeff Carter. Pens have Crosy/Malkin. Leafs have Phil Kessel. Hawks have Sharp/Toews/Kane/Hossa (they are STACKED). And the Rangers roster is equipped with depth, an offensive scorer in Gaborik, great goaldtending equivalent to the Blues. I say we've got our work cut out for us.
Here's one example...in 93-94 we had a team with Hull (57 goals), Shanahan (52 goals), Janney (84 pts.)....and we were swept in the 1st round by Dallas.
That team didn't have depth at forward (even with two 50 goal scorers and another 80 pt. guy, they were only 17th in goals scored) and that team didn't have a good defense either (18th in the league).
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a 35+ goal guy or two on the 1st line...I was hoping they would acquire a sniper, but not having one doesn't mean the team is destined to fail because having MORE THAN ONE in the past hasn't meant anything because the team around them wasn't great.
This Blues team is very similar to the 02-03 Devils team that won the cup.2002-2003 NJ Devils:
108 pts., 1st in their division
GF - 216
GA - 166
0 players with 60+ pts.
7 players with 40+ pts. 2011-2012 St. Louis Blues:
109 pts., 1st in their division
GF - 210
GA - 265
0 players with 60+ pts.
5 players with 40+ pts. (if Steen and McDonald had played the entire season, this team would have 7 players over 40 pts. as well, and one player (maybe two) over 60 pts.)
Solid team defense & goaltending along with adequate depth at forward is a proven recipe for success in the playoffs.
We thought we had a complete team in 99-00, but that team got cocky and lost 3 of the first 4 in the first round before coming back and then losing in 7. I don't see this team being cocky at all...not with Hitchcock behind the bench and guys like Arnott, Langenbrunner & McDonald on this team.
I'm not that worried about the offense. We have enough offense (yes, it would be nice to have more...but it is what it is). If the goaltending plays the way it has all season, we win this series in 5.
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