The Blues are going to look a little different to start the season, but they are still a dangerous opponent.
The St. Louis Blues have been a good team for a while. They are also a season removed from a Stanley Cup and one of the favorites to make the playoffs this upcoming season. They are one of the top three opponents for the Arizona Coyotes this season and will be a future division rival after the Coyotes move to the Central, which is scheduled for next season.
Key Additions: Mike Hoffman, Torey Krug
Key Subtractions: Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Allen, Alex Steen
2019-20 Finish: 1st in the Central (42-19-10)
Coyotes’ 2019-20 record: 2-1-0
Sister Site: St. Louis Gametime (@StLouisGameTime)
Key Injuries: Vladimir Tarasenko
Difference Maker: Subtractions
The Blues had an interesting offseason, that could make for a slow start. It will be a short season, and a slow start could prove to be a killer for a team.
St. Louis has been a good team, but they lost some big pieces. Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester were big pieces of St. Louis’s defensive core and it could make things difficult.
Offensively, the Blues are also missing some pieces. Alex Steen’s production had been dipping the past few seasons, and his retirement wasn’t much of a surprise.
More importantly, the Blues are struggling with injuries, with Vladimir Tarasenko currently scheduled to be out until early March with a shoulder injury. Tarasenko was limited to just ten games last season and finished with 10 points, and has scored more than 30 goals in the previous five seasons.
Trading Jake Allen may have been necessary, but it will put a lot of pressure on Jordan Binnington. He was solid in the Blues Stanley Cup run, but this season is going to be different. Conventional wisdom says that during a compacted season teams with a tandem are going to perform better, and Jon Gillies, Joel Hofer, or Ville Husso have limited NHL experience.