50. They key number to this years St. Louis Blues. Will they win 50 games? Will Vladimir Tarasenko net 50 goals? Will newly named captain, Alex Pietrangelo make a run at the Norris and tally 50 plus points? Most importantly, can this franchise win its first Stanley Cup in their 50th year of existence? The time is now and the long journey of excitement and agony of rooting on our St. Louis Blues begins tonight.
No more David Backes, Troy Brouwer, and Brian Elliott. Tonight we see a new era of the Blues. An era based on speed, transition, creativity, and hopefully, a ton of goals. With the acquisitions of speedy wingers David Perron and Nail Yakupov, this team is retooled for another deep run into the playoffs. Jake Allen now owns the net all to him see in St. Louis. The 26 year old former 34th overall pick finally gets his chance to shine after sharing time in the net with Brian Elliott for the past few seasons. We’ve seen that Allen can be consistent and at times, win games for the Blues in the regular season. The big question is if he can carry it over to the playoffs. Players such as Jaden Schwartz, Robby Fabbri, Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko, and Nail Yakupov should all take the next step this season. I look to those names for players to both rely on and expect to come up with timely goals or plays.
The Blues start the season off in Chicago tonight, playing the team they eliminated in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Blackhawks. Arguably the best rivalry in the entire NHL, expect fireworks in the season opener. The Blues and Hawks rivalry will be even more electric this season with all of the bad blood in past playoffs, the Winter Classic on January 2nd, and another likely matchup in the playoffs this season.
Entering Ken Hitchcock’s last season behind an NHL bench, hopefully the Blues will have an edge to their game and play with a chip on their shoulder. This team is going to be more creative and offensive. I’m expecting a top 5 power play and top 10 in the NHL in goals per game. There are many questions yet to be answered. How will Allen hold up after a large amount of games played? Can Nail Yakupov show he can live up to his potential? Can Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko avoid the sophomore slump? We all know Vladimir Tarasenko’s scoring will stay steady… But Blues fans I ask you this, are you ready? It’s time. Gameday is here and the Blues are marching into the Untided Center, doing business, and marching into the Scottrade Center Thurday night for their home opener as an undefeated 1-0 hockey team. Let’s go Blues.
Announcement: STLSportsSociety.Com is being relaunched as RespectTheNote.com. A website for all St. Louis Blues and NHL fans. It will include everything involving the Blues from prospect updates to game previews. I’m gathering a few Blues writers to join the crew. I’ve also officially lined up an exciting giveaway that will be tweeted out in November. I’ll be giving away a free Winter Classic jersey and the winner will be announced on Christams Eve.
Giveaway: I’m giving away a FREE Yak Attack player tee. In order to win this giveaway, RT this tweet and follow both @The_STG and @STLSportsSociety.