The Blues will have a new look this season as there have been many personnel changes. The Blues hope that it is enough to get them back in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Forwards: Jason Arnott, Evgeny Grachev, Jamie Langenbrunner, Scott Nichol.
Defensemen: Kent Huskins.
Goaltenders: Brian Elliott.
On the outs
Forwards: Nicholas Drazenovic (CBJ), Cam Janssen (NJD), Dave Scatchard (Retired).
Defensemen: Nathan Oystrick (PHO), Tyson Strachan (FLO).
Goaltenders: Ty Conklin (DET).
Does pre-season matter? It must to the St. Louis Blues.
Playing in seven of their eight pre-season games, the Blues have recorded a fabulous 5-2-0 record while out-scoring their opponents 19-14 in the process.
What do the wins accumulate to? Well, nothing really. The points to concern yourself with is how these wins are coming along and which players are the biggest factors in the games.
First of all, the goaltending is getting it done.
Since the NHL decided to throw a crazy pre-season schedule at the Blues (first 5 pre-season games were played in as many days; 8 total pre-season games in 12 days), Head Coach Davis Payne has elected to let every goaltender play an entire game, as opposed to the traditional pre-season method of letting two goalies split each game.
Currently, newcomer Brian Elliott is leading the way, playing in 2 games and posting a 1-1-0 record with a .917 save percentage. Ben Bishop has recorded a 2-0-0 record with a .907 save percentage while undisputed starting goalie Jaroslav Halak has posted a 1-1-0 record and a .892 save percentage. Youngster Jake Allen also saw a start against the Avalanche before being sent to Peoria. He earned the victory, making 23 of 25 saves for a .920 save percentage.
One team owns the privilege of being called St. Louis’ team. That is neither the football or hockey team.
It’s true, no matter how much you want to deny it, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team numero uno in the Gateway City. If you don’t like baseball, you probably are not from St. Louis.
But who is the second favorite team?
This question was recently tweeted by St. Louis’ Mayor, Francis Slay (@MayorSlay) on Twitter. The public responses were a resounding positive for a certain team named after a genre of music.
@pmcgrew: I don't think that's even close. Blues.
@notjustanotherj: BLUES!!!!!!! SIlly question sir. If the blues won the cup... this city would be intoxicated for a week.
@aPaulitical: Football is more popular, but Blues support is stronger.
And of course, everyone’s favorite tweeter had a response:
@STLBluesRadio: Blues- even though media won't agree.
You can look at the losses for this team and say that they will not make any noise this season. But this team has proven time and again that a strong team effort and solid coaching is all you need to be successful in today’s NHL.
Forwards: Niclas Bergfors, Zack Stortini.
Defensemen: Jack Hillen, Tyler Sloan.
On the outs
Forwards: Steve Begin (VAN)*, Wade Belak (unsigned)**, J.P. Dumont (unsigned), Marcel Goc (FLA), Matthew Lombardi (TOR), Steve Sullivan (PIT), Andreas Thuresson (NYR), Joel Ward (WAS).
Defensemen: Cody Franson (TOR).
Goaltenders: Mark Dekanich (CBJ).
*- Steve Begin has accepted a tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
**- Sadly, Wade Belak passed away over the off-season.
In 2001, StLouisBluesNews.com was created and an era was born in hockey message board history. Now LetsGoBlues.com, the site has remained your #1 stop for discussing the St. Louis Blues with fellow fans. As if this was not enough, LGB added front-page content last season that included game recaps, analysis of trades and even a Twitter feed for all of the Blues players. This season, we are taking it a step further.
On Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 the St. Louis Blues Radio Podcast will debut. A collaborative effort between LetsGoBlues.com Owner Curt Price, LGB Lead Writer Jeff Ponder and BlueNoteZone.com Owner and NHLHotStove.com Associate Editor Jeff Quirin will be made to deliver news analysis and opinion regarding the Blues in audio form.
Jeff Quirin – @JTQ_1