Sunday, September 9, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: St. Louis Blues

The Blues -- not just for piano anymore.
Quick hits
  • Paul Kariya would make a pretty awkward looking pitcher.
  • The franchise dates back to 1967, but has never won a conference championship. That is a pretty amazing statistic considering the fact that the team made the playoffs for 25 straight seasons between 1980 and 2004. They
  • Here's a weird statistic; between 1990 and 2002 the Blues had a total of four first round picks. Since 2003, the Blues have had eight first rounders, including three first round picks in the 2007 draft.
  • One can only hope that Brett Hull will be as much fun this season as he was for us last year.
  • Depending on whether you like him or loathe him, you can thank/curse out St. Louis for giving the world Bob Costas.
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous

8 to 1: Come December, you'll probably be wondering where in the world Paul Kariya is, because you forgot he signed with the Blues. I know I will.

6 to 1: You can't pronounce Bacashihua.

14 to 1: Paul Kariya will be turning 33 this October, and the realization that his career is beginning to come to an end will make you feel old. That is, of course, if you remember where he is.

Obligatory serious analysis

Thanks in part of the work of GM John Davidson, the Blues made a big step up last season. After finishing with the worst record in hockey two years ago, the Blues record 81 points last year, an increase of 24 points and finished 10th in the Western Conference. Hoping to build on that success, they re-acquired Keith Tkachuk, who had been traded at the deadline to Atlanta and made a splash in the free agent market by signing Paul Kariya. They also added Hannu Toivonen, who along with the returning Manny Legace and Jason Bacashihua, will should give the Blues some insurance that, if nothing else, there will be at least one solid starting netminder between the pipes for opening night. Legace had a night year last season, as did Bacashihua in limited time. Toivonen's sophomore season in Boston was a disaster and complete departure from his freshman campaign, but hopefully for the Blues he can regain form. The point is; they should have a solid goalie not matter who wins the starting job.

As for the Blues' offense, Kariya will be a welcomed sight. The team finished 26th in the NHL in scoring last year, and there's no doubt they'll be much better off with Karyia. He has missed only one game in each of the last two seasons, scoring 85 points in 2005-06 and 76 last year. For a comparison, Dough Weight led the Blues in points last season with 59. Kariya should put up just as good numbers this year, and should also increase the production of his line mates -- the man's got serious ice vision, folks.

What will probably end up being the biggest issue for the Blues is that they will be returning the same defense that finished in the bottom third of the NHL in 2006-07. In terms of transactions, Jamie Rivers is the only blue line departure, and there are no notable signings to speak of. Kariya certainly doesn't bring any defense to the table, and the Blues are going to have to find a way to improve that back line if they want to go anywhere in the post season. That being said, I think it will be an up year in St. Louis.

Prediction: I believe the Blues will continue to progress this season, but the West will be too tough for them. I think they will finish in 9th, on the outside of the playoff picture.

The best looking ice girls in St. Louis
Ok, I couldn't find any girls in Blues attire, and the team has no ice girls, so stay with me on this one; it's a stretch. Budweiser was born in and is based in St. Louis. Therefore, the Bud Girls are also from St. Louis. So, here's some Bud Girls.

Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay


  1. ooh... 14 to 1 odds Kariya will turn 33 this month. I'll take those odds. And if I'm wrong, my condolences to the Kariyas

  2. Blues+Kariya=playoffs. And thanks for all the chicks.

  3. In terms of the playoffs, the Blues are the NHL's equivalent of the Atlanta Braves, minus one championship. Way to tread water, guys.

    That being said, JD is going to turn out to be one of the better GMs in the league.