Getting shut out in two of the first five games wasn’t exactly the start Blues fans had in mind entering the 2014-15 season. On the contrary, the signing of Paul Stastny was supposed to put an end to offensive ineptness in St. Louis.
Now, Stastny is out for the time being with an upper body injury.
The popular thought would be to give up on the season and be resigned to the fact this team is destined to lose in the first round of the postseason again – if they’re even fortunate enough to make the playoffs.
To that, I say RELAX. The law of averages will kick in when all is said and done. Every team in the NHL goes through something like this at some point in the season. The Blues have gone through it year after year after year themselves.
It just so happens they’re getting their unlucky struggles out of the way now with injuries. It isn’t just Stastny; defenseman Carl Gunnarsson has missed every game up to this point and won’t make his debut until Tuesday night in Dallas. Even Ryan Reaves and Vladimir Tarasenko have dealt with bodies at less than 100 percent.
But such is life in sports. No one is going to feel sorry for you. Every team deals with it at some point or another. The organizations that have the depth and the leadership and the resolve to weather the storm are the ones left standing in the end
The Blues have that ability. This is a team that, yes, lost to the Blackhawks in the first round of the postseason a year ago but that wasn’t a first round matchup. That was a conference semifinal matchup at least.
From that team they added Stastny, just your average 20+ goal scorer, and watched Ryan Miller leave for greener pastures. Ultimately I believe that will be addition by subtraction because Jake Allen is going to be the starting goalie by the end of the year.
Allen, to me, is the Blues version of Kolten Wong. The Cardinals wanted Wong to be the starting second baseman but weren’t willing to give him the job right out of the gate. That’s why Mark Ellis was signed. Brian Elliott is the Blues’ Mark Ellis.
This Cardinals season started with Ellis getting the lion’s share of the starts at second base. Wong got them at the end, as was always the plan.
I think the Blues are trending the same way. While Brian Elliott is getting the majority of starts early that in no way means he will be getting them at the end. While it’s certainly possible Elliott will outplay Allen and remain the starter, I don’t think that’s the Blues plan.
Allen has a chance to be a star. Elliott is who he is. He’s a nice goalie who will do a solid job, but solid doesn’t win you Stanley Cups, stars do.
So again, be patient Blues fans. The rough waters of October will seem like a lifetime ago come March and April. It will seem like a different season. The bad luck will average out in the end.