Back in October, video game NHL 14 by EA Sports predicted St. Louis would win the Stanley Cup this season. Well, that prediction is looking pretty good right now because the Blues are as well-rounded a group as there is in the NHL and are certainly a Cup contender.
GM Doug Armstrong has done a masterful job crafting a roster where on any given night three lines can take over a game offensively and all four forward lines can wear down an opposing defence. Skilled forwards like Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie and Patrik Bergland compliment players with a physical edge like David Backes and Chris Stewart. They’ve also got one of the best defensive pairs in the league with Canadian Olympians Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock has implemented a defensive style of play to great effect and his players have bought into it, while still remaining one of the highest-scoring teams in the league.
Click player positions to see depth chart
Areas to address
(UPDATE: Blues acquire Miller, Ott from Sabres | Full story)
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Should the NHL Trade Deadline come and go without the Blues making so much as a peep, then that won’t be an issue.
Another reason for the Blues to stand pat is Vladimir Sobotka, who is expected to return before the end of the regular season — that alone will be a huge addition for the team. He has 25 points in 46 games and is one of the league’s top faceoff men.
The Blues are already built for a long playoff run. They really don’t have any weaknesses, but if they want to make a move to strengthen the squad for a playoff run, then adding another winger who can put the puck in the net might be something the team considers.
They’re in a position where a rental player makes perfect sense, so giving up a draft pick, or possibly combining one with a prospect, to get a scoring winger could make the Blues that much stronger.
Possible trade targets
Matt Moulson, Buffalo Sabres
Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames
Lee Stempniak, Calgary Flames
Nikolai Kulemin, Toronto Maple Leafs