Each year when it comes to this hockey team I say the same thing. “Why is this year any different than the last few?” The Blues always seem to come out of the gates hot, put the league on notice with their young talent and show flashes that this is their time.
Each year it’s largely the same thing, too. A first round exit here. Maybe a second round exit there.
2013-2014? I’m sensing something different. Why? Well, I really can’t place it. Call it a hunch. Call it a look about the team. Call it whatever you want. But the Blues just look and feel different this year than in years past.
First of all, you have a legitimate 40-goal scorer in Alexander Steen who’s as hot as anyone in the NHL. The Blues haven’t had a playmaker like this in a long time. And then after that it’s the young talent that has stepped up in the experienced guys absences all season.
From Vladimir Tarasenko’s 12 goals to Dmitrij Jasin’s first, it’s been a pleasure to watch young and old alike play hockey together. There’s a nice blend of talent, leadership, youth, veterans and cohesiveness championship teams typically possess.
Beating the rival Blackhawks 6-5 in a shootout at Scottrade Saturday night (while overcoming two multi-goal deficits) showed the moxie that exists within this group.
It remains to be seen if all this talent and momentum will implode and we’ll see yet another loss early in the playoff race to a team out west like San Jose or Los Angeles. But I just don’t see it right now. I think this team has a legitimate chance to make a run this year.