2014-15 record: 51-24-7 (109 points)
1st place in the Central Division, 1st(t) place in the Western Conference
Goals For: 248
Goals Against: 201
Power Play: 22.3% (4)
Penalty Kill: 83.7% (7t)
Team Faceoff Pct: 53.4% (2)
Key Offseason Moves
2015 Top Draft Pick: Round 2 – Pick 56 – D Vince Dunn
Additions: Troy Brouwer, Kyle Brodziak
Subtractions: TJ Oshie, Barret Jackman, Zbynek Michalek, Chris Porter, Chris Butler
- Are the Blues better or worse heading into 2015-16? WORSE
St. Louis could have blown things up this summer after an ugly playoff departure. There were players who needed to get paid, and disappointment can lead to significant changes.
But Ken Hitchcock will return, as will most of the Blues roster. The biggest surprise this summer was TJ Oshie being dealt to Washington for former Blackhawks forward Troy Brouwer, a move that adds more size to the Blues up front but slows them down as well. Some of the money saved when Oshie was moved was immediately spent on another young star; Vladimir Tarasenko signed a massive extension, which appears to be a very good value deal for both sides.
Health has been the biggest issue for the Blues at the end of the last few seasons, but they’ll begin the 2015-16 season banged up. The news this summer that Jori Lehtera was having ankle surgery and now that Patrick Berglund will miss at least four months clouds the beginning of the season in St. Louis.
Why are the Blues “worse” than last year? Because they’re essentially the same team they were last year, with the only significant changes up front being Brouwer and Brodziak.
- Will St. Louis be a playoff team this year? Probably
The Blues are still a good, deep team. But beginning the season with Berglund missing because of a significant injury and Lehtera working his way back from an injury of his own won’t help things. Healthy, this is a playoff team… but lingering health concerns open the door for another team to get hot early and make thing interesting.