Why the Blues Might Be Marching Towards a Cup This Season
As of this writing, the Blues are second in the entire NHL with 37 points, just one point behind the Western Conference and league leading Chicago Blackhawks. With the team currently on a four-game winning streak and at 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, it is easy to see why the Blues have what it takes to win the Cup this season.
In Ken Hitchcock, the Blues have one of the best coaches in the league.
Hitchcock knows what it takes to win hockey’s Holy Grail. He won a Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and almost won it again the following year but lost in six games to the New Jersey Devils.
Hitchcock also knows how to get players to buy into his system. Hitchcock has been with four different NHL franchises and has been able to get each team into the postseason, which is not an easy task in this league.
With Hitchcock at the helm, anything is possible for the Blues.
Offensive depth is an extremely important factor in this league and there is no doubt that the Blues have that.
In looking at their roster, one will notice that the team has eight forwards with at least 10 points to go along with three defensemen that are in double digits when it comes to scoring. If you are an opposing team, that is a scary team to face.
Up front, the team is led by the likes of Alexander Steen (19 goals and 10 assists for 29 points), team captain David Backes (10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points), and T.J. Oshie (four goals and 17 assists for 21 points). On the blue line, the Blues are getting more than solid production from Jay Bouwmeester (one goal and 17 assists for 18 points), Alex Pietrangelo (four goals and 14 assists for 18 points), and Kevin Shattenkirk (1 goal and 15 assist for 16 points).
Every line is threat to score and put up good numbers when it comes to the Blues.
For the first time since joining the team for the 2010-11 season, it seems like the Blues have two healthy netminders who are both playing well.
Jaroslav Halak is proving that when healthy, he can be one of the league’s top goaltenders. Halak, 28, is 13-3-2 with a 2.21 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and two shutouts this season.
Back-up goaltender Brian Elliott has also been solid this season. In five games, Elliott is 4-0-1 with a 1.79 goals against average, a .932 save percentage and one shutout.
It is always a bonus when a team has two above average goaltenders who can get the job done and right now, that is exactly what the Blues have.
When you put these three factors together, you have yourself one heck of a hockey club.
Should the Blues continue to play the way they are playing now and combine these three facets at the most important time of the season, there is no reason why the Blues will not be skating away with the Cup when the curtain fades on the 2013-14 NHL season.