Vaughn: Don't break up the Blues -

Vaughn: Don't break up the Blues

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(Hockey StL) -- The knee jerk reaction after another early exit from the playoffs is to demand the Blues front office make major changes to the roster. The Blues scored only 10 goals in the six game series against the Kings, so it’s understandable why so many fans want the team to have a radically different look next season. That’s probably not going to happen, and it shouldn’t. 

The Blues don’t need a major make-over. They could certainly use another scorer, that’s for sure, but they don’t need to take a machete to the roster just yet. Players may be judged on what they do in the postseason, but the regular season is a more accurate gauge of talent. Chris Stewart scored 18 goals in the regular season. Patrik Berglund had 17, and that was in a condensed 48 game season. Those numbers project to 30 goals in a normal regular season. Neither Stewart or Berglund produced much in the playoffs, but clearly they’ve demonstrated the ability to be effective goal scorers. 

The Blues still have a number of core players who are very young. Stewart is just 25. Berglund’s 24. T.J. Oshie (26), David Perron (24) and Vladimir Sobotka (25) should just be hitting their prime. Vladimir Tarasenko showed great promise before his injury. He’s just 21. The Blues have high hopes for 20 year old Dmitrij Jaskin. Their second round draft pick from 2011, Ty Rattie, scored 48 goals this season in the Western Hockey League and is the career leader in playoff goals in that league. There is help on the way. The Blues aren’t likely to shell out a long term, megabucks contract to an established free agent goal scorer, but they may not have to if the young guys live up to their promise. 

For now, it’s frustrating to see the Blues season end early again. But they’ve proven in back to back regular seasons that they are a legitimate contender now. When the playoffs began almost all the pundits had the Blues picked as solid team with a legitimate chance to win the Cup. They ran into a red hot goaltender in Jonathan Quick, hit a couple of goal posts and crossbars, and didn’t finish most of their scoring chances. After 46 years chasing the chalice you’d think the breaks would fall their way one time. It still hasn’t happened, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for the front office to panic and change the course of the franchise. 

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