How The Blues Are Transforming From Postseason Punchline Into Force

For the first time since Hall of Famers Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis were patrolling the blue line, the St. Louis Blues are going back to the Western Conference Final. It’s been 15 years between trips to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a lot of heartache in between.

The Blues remain the last of the NHL’s still-active franchises from its first round of expansion in 1967 to not have won the Stanley Cup. By dispatching the Dallas Stars in a dominant 6-1 victory in Game 7 of their second-round series Wednesday night, they’re a step closer to returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since three trips in their first three years of existence.

Long-suffering doesn’t even begin to describe this franchise. But now they have a team they can believe in. Now that they’ve finally escaped the first two rounds, now that they’ve eliminated the two other teams that occupied the top three of the Central Division with them, the Blues have hope.

Hope can be a dangerous thing, but we just saw the Blues tempt fate and live, having to play the full seven games of each of their first two series. Each time, they saved their best for last and helped quash the narrative that they couldn’t get the job done in the postseason.

The Blues are far from done and shouldn’t be at all satisfied with just making it to the conference final. They won’t be, but getting there is a huge accomplishment, considering who they had to go through to get there and carrying the weight of the expectations this season created.

Here’s a look at some of the reasons the Blues have been able to get over the second-round hump:

1. Brian Elliott‘s goaltending continues to be a driving force in their success: When you look at any good playoff team, you’re likely looking at a team with a good goaltender. Elliott has been just that for the Blues as they continue their march towards the Stanley Cup.

The veteran goalie, finally trusted to be the No. 1 at the most important time of the season, was brilliant in Game 7. He made 31 saves, including several big-time stops earlier in the game before the Blues put it away.

Over his 14 playoff starts, Elliott has a .929 save percentage and 2.29 goals-against average. He is considered by many of his teammates as their MVP so far in this postseason. Elliott’s performance is definitely a big reason why this version of the Blues has not suffered the same fate as previous ones.

2. The depth of scoring talent on this roster is unlike any of the previous Blues teams:Three dangerous scoring lines, reliable defensemen and a bona fide No. 1 goaltender is making this the most complete Blues team in recent memory. However, it’s the Blues’ ability to get goals from all over their lineup that has a lot to do with their success so far.

Six players are in double-digit points already, featuring at least one player from each of their first three lines and one defenseman. Nineteen of the 21 players that have suited up for the Blues in these playoffs have at least one point, while eight have scored three or more goals.

Vladimir Tarasenko is unsurprisingly at the top of the Blues’ stats sheet with seven goals and 13 points. However, he is joined at the top by rookie Robby Fabbri, who at 20 years old, is having a sensational postseason with a team-best 10 assists to go along with his three goals.

To have success in the postseason, it doesn’t matter where the points are coming from, so long as they keep coming. The Blues have three lines that they can throw over the boards and have complete faith that they’ll at least be a threat to score.

David Backes has six goals, surpassing his career postseason total coming into this year’s playoffs, while playing in more of a third-line role. The captain also has two overtime game-winners and is third on the team with 12 points.

The real revelation of the postseason, however, has been the line that features Fabbri, Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer. That trio of players has accounted for 32 points so far in these playoffs. Getting production from guys like Tarasenko is huge, but having your other lines clicking as they have been, goes a long way.

3. The Blues kept making adjustments: If there’s one thing the series against the Stars proved, it’s that the Blues can make the adjustments necessary to win. They pretty much had to hit the reset button right out the gates after Dallas was flying in Game 1. The Blues looked completely caught off guard by it.

In Game 2, St. Louis got off to a better start, but then tried to sit on a 3-1 lead and pretty much stopped attacking. That turned out to be a huge mistake in tactics. The Stars came back before the Blues ended up winning in overtime. From that point on, they figured out that sitting back against the Stars wasn’t an option.

There was no need to play that way because they have the personnel that can play an attacking style, which is what we saw so much more of throughout the series after that Game 2 scare. Hitchcock is conservative in his tactics by nature, but this series forced them into being more aggressive.

The Blues went out and smoked the Stars 6-1 in Game 3. They ended up suffering close losses in Games 4 and 6, but rarely did St. Louis fall into their conservative shell again. The end result was 25 goals scored over the seven games, including another 6-1 win in Game 7.

They found the style that will make them difficult to contain for any team, should they choose to continue to play that way.

4. Doug Armstrong’s patience is being rewarded: There were calls for GM Doug Armstrong to blow things up and start over after the team got bounced by the Minnesota Wild in the first round last year. It was expected that he’d fire Hitchcock and maybe trade a core player or two away.

While Armstrong did make a core move, shipping out T.J. Oshie to help alleviate some cap space for Tarasenko’s extension that he signed a little later in the summer, he left most of the rest of the roster untouched.

The reason Armstrong could do that was because he had some prospects in the pipeline that would be able to fill some of the holes.

Those prospects ended up exceeding expectations. As noted, Fabbri is tied for the team lead in playoff scoring. He became the youngest player in NHL history to register three points in a Game 7. Defenseman Colton Parayko stepped right into a top-four role. He has five points and is averaging over 20 minutes a game this postseason. Joel Edmundson has played a lesser role, but has a goal in these playoffs and offers defensive depth.

On top of all that, the player the team acquired for Oshie has been one of their other top postseason performers. Troy Brouwer has 10 points in the playoffs including a goal in each of the two Game 7s they’ve played in. As the only player on the Blues roster with his name on the Stanley Cup, he’s been outstanding.

Armstrong very easily could have started shedding pieces off last year’s roster to try and change up the mix. He chose patience instead and the team is rewarding him for it.


Story provided by Chris Peters

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosofutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88


Stay updated, sign up for our newsletter.