The St. Louis Blues had a disappointing season in 2017-2018, it’s time to review what we saw.
The end of the St. Louis Blues season was completed with a 5-2 loss on the road against the Colorado Avalanche and leaving the Blues outside looking in during the playoffs. As disappointing as this is, let’s take a look back at some of the bright spots and low lights from the Blues in their 2017-18 season.
Adding to the blue-line
The emergence of Vince Dunn with a strong rookie campaign consisting of 75 games, 5 goals, and 24 points. Dunn adds to an already deep St. Louis Blues defensive core. Dunn shows the high-level skill set that is spotlighted on the power play and even strength situations. Dunn’s vision and puck-moving ability is an addition any blue line would welcome. All Blues fans should be excited about Vince Dunn’s potential and be elated about how high that ceiling could be.
Backup not a backup
Carter Hutton had a career season with the St. Louis Blues. Posting a 17-7-3 record with a .931% save percentage and 2.09 goals against average. Besides the numbers, Hutton provided much-needed support at a point in the season when no one was stepping up. Don’t be surprised if Hutton is not in a Blues uniform next season after what he did this year. Carter Hutton’s stock skyrocketed this year and there are many teams who could utilize an above average “backup” goalie.
Kyle Brodziak‘s 10 goals and 23 assists barely shed light on his importance to the St. Louis Blues over the course of the season. Brodziak is everything you look for in a center, offensively talented, two way forward, face-off and PK specialist. Brodziak gave fans a real reminder of all the traits after Paul Stastny being traded to the Winnipeg Jets before the trade deadline.
Story of My Life
Jake Allen. I know, everyone is tired of hearing about Jake Allen’s play this season. The 2017-18 season was the second season in a row of noticeable struggling points that last significant amounts of time during the course of the season. The 17-18 season had career worst for Jake. Just one shutout, 25 loses, .906% save percentage and 2.75 goals against average. Hopefully, there is only one direction Jake Allen’s play can go. Up.
Not so Special
Let’s just get right into this. The not so special teams of the St. Louis Blues are just that. The penalty kill was 79.65%. In my meaningless opinion that is just not acceptable. Minimum should be 80%. Then there is the power play, sitting at disgraceful 15.45%. If you watched any game this season where the Blues had a power play, you witnessed first hand the problems.
Far too many to mention. But this season only brought one change to the special teams. The coaches who run it. Same player personnel but different coaches. Maybe just maybe there should have been a different directive for the special teams at some point this season. Simply put, next season special teams have to be better.
I’m going to list players who needed to be better this year and basically were not. Vladimir Sobotka and his 11 goals and -6 in 81 games. Patrik Berglund and his 17 goals and -5, in 57 games. Dmitrij Jaskin with his 17 points in 76 games. Tage Thompson had 9 points and was a -12 in 41 games and last but not least, Oskar Sundqvist.
Oskar had 5 points and was a -5 in 42 games this season. These five players totaled 88 points. To put this into perspective, Brayden Schenn had 70 points this year. Five players total points combined are only 18 points more than one player.
The lack of secondary scoring is not only about points but it adds an unwanted pressure to other players, say our defensemen. The top five Blues defense-men combined for 143 points. Something has to be done about the imbalance scoring for the Blues.
Overall I give the Blues a C+. A few bright spots with a lackluster special teams performance, little secondary scoring and not making the playoffs contributed to this sad, sad season. Doug Armstrong, you sir have a lot of work this off-season. This faithful fanbase needs to see effort and change. Maybe in the form of a free agent center and some youth from within the organization.