2017-2018 Overview:

The St. Louis Blues narrowly missed the playoffs last year, falling to the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in the final regular season game of the year. It was an average season for the Blues. Posting a record of 44-32-6 and scoring 94 points, the Blues weren’t in the best position to advance to the postseason. However, summer trades and signings have revamped the entire organization.

Off-season Moves:

The Blues are loaded with offensive firepower this year. Bringing back David Perron was a huge offseason win, considering Perron tallied 66 points. Ryan O’Rielly and Tyler Bozak stabilize the Blues’ center depth.

Additions: Ryan O’Rielly– F (Buffalo Sabres); David Perron– F (free agency); Tyler Bozak- F (free agency) ; Patrick Maroon– F (free agency); Jordan Nolan– F (free agency).

Subtractions: Patrik Berglund– F (Buffalo Sabres); Kyle Brodizak– F (Edmonton Oilers); Carter Hutton– G (Buffalo Sabres); Vladimir Sobokta– D (Buffalo Sabres); Tage Thompson– F (Buffalo Sabres)

Returning Stars:

The Blues are led Vladimir Tarasenko, who comes off an outstanding season (33g-33a for 66 points and plus 15). Tarasenko turns 27 during the season and is approaching the prime of his career. David Perron returns to the Blues for the third time in his career. After a successful season with the Vegas Golden Knights, Perron is coming home after a 66-point season.

Breakout Bets: 

Standing 6-feet-6 and weighing 235 pounds, Colton Parayko has been a consistent, thumping defenseman for three years. A good passer, Parayko, 25, is on the cusp of the best hockey years of his life.

What to Expect:

The Blues absolutely dominated the off-season. Their center depth is outstanding; the forward lines are filled with players who can score. Scoring should not be a worry.

Success depends on two things: 1) Jake Allen’s performance and 2) the defensive play in front of him. Standing out from the rest of the St. Louis blue-liners, Alex Pietrangelo produced 54 points and finished plus eight. Offensively, Pietrangelo his fellow defensemen by 19 points. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

Goaltender Jake Allen, 28, had a mediocre 2017-2018 season. His G.A.A (2.75) was the highest of his career, and his save percentage (90.6) was the lowest. Carter Hutton (2.09, 93.1) outperformed him last year, but with 32-year-old Hutton gone, Allen will be the unquestionable starter. Allen needs to have a better season this year if the Blues want to compete. If he can’t perform any better, then perhaps the Blues will go goaltender shopping.

 

Jack Woods covers the Nashville Predators and the Central Division for Fullpresscoverage.com. You can follow Jack on Twitter @jack_woods15.

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