Blues Burning Questions #2 - 2/2/10
Blues Burning Questions #2
Today comes part two of the "Burning Questions" series. Lots of topics are circling the Blues as they head into a very tough stretch on their schedule and numerous questions are being asked by the fans. Here we look into a few more and offer some insights as well as some opinions. Previously we looked at the goaltending situation, Paul Kariya's performance and the future captain of the Blues. Today we look toward the trade market and discuss whether the Blues will be involved. As always, while I might be a huge fan of the team I will try my best to keep things from falling into a biased view.
Will the Blues make a move?
First things first. The NHL is placing a freeze on trades starting February 12th and spanning the duration of the Olympic break. The trade deadline looms just a few days after the Olympic break ends. This means, odds are good that a chunk of moves (as we saw with Calgary/Toronto) will take place before the Olympic puck drops.
That being said, yes, I do think the St. Louis Blues' name will appear in one move or another. However, there is really no sense trying to predict what that move will be as the team could go in a variety of different directions. We could see a defender brought in or a more potent scoring forward. We could see the Blues rent out a veteran (Walt) to a contender, depending how this next stretch of games go. Of course, the team could surprise everyone and make a move that no one saw coming - things are just that unpredictable at this time.
While I can not even fathom a guess as to who might arrive and who might leave, I do feel confident in saying the Blues will not stand pat.
What does this team lack the most?
Scoring. It's as simple as that - the Blues lack a player who can consistently and frequently set the red lamp aglow. Andy McDonald has performed the best with 17 goals this season, but unfortunately the list of teammates who are underachieving greatly outweighs the positives list.
Brad Boyes is tied for the team lead with 35 points. Nothing negative there. However, his poor mark of just 10 goals is a mystery and one that clearly the forward has not found an answer for. Keep in mind this is a skater who tallied 33 last season and 43 the year before. I don't think anyone saw this one coming. The team has been unable to find these goals they had been counting on Boyes to score, and the record shows it.
In terms of pure point totals, McDonald and Boyes each have 35. Yes, that's 35 points through 55 games this season. Curious as to where that stacks up amongst the rest of the league? The mark of 35 points ranks tied for 83rd in all of the NHL. Yikes. You will have a hard time winning many games when your best scorers rank this poorly, and this is obviously a piece of the puzzle that the team is currently lacking - contrary to what the team's marketing department might have told you coming into the season.
The team has a tough patch of games before the Olympics with Chicago twice, San Jose, Colorado, Detroit, Washington and Toronto. What should we expect?
Things really don't get much more difficult than this. I would check off the Toronto game as the team's best shot at a "W", but given the inconsistent nature of the Blues this season and Toronto's major shakeup over the past week, I don't feel safe with that prognostication. Honestly, I don't this the next two weeks being very kind to our favorite team. The Chicago contests should be lively and spirited, but I am left wondering which Blues team will show up on any given night.
This stretch stinks of impending doom and it likely will dictate whether or not the Blues make the postseason or are left out come the second season.