Second City Hockey’s 2019-20 season preview: St. Louis Blues
Last season’s — heavy sigh — Stanley Cup champions are looking for a similar result this season
We end our look around the NHL with last season’s — ugh, really? That wasn’t just a nightmare — Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues. Let’s get through this together.
St. Louis Blues
Last season: 45-28-9, 99 points, 3rd place, Stanley Cup champions
Key losses: D Joel Edmundson, F Patrick Maroon
Key additions: D Justin Faulk
It still doesn’t make any sense. How in the hell did a team that was sitting in the NHL basement on New Year’s Eve end up hoisting the Cup? It defies all logic and all reasoning, but ... here we are: the Blues are the champions (and now a brief pause as I throw up everything I’ve eaten since June).
The question now becomes whether or not they can do it again. There are the usual concerns at play which will sound familiar to Blackhawks fans: how the team will react to a very short summer, learning how to handle being targeted by the rest of the league, another year of aging for the team’s core players, etc. But the Blues’ fate this season will largely hinge on the success or failure of goaltender Jordan Binnington after his incredible run through the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
There aren’t many other changes to discuss with the Blues. Within the last week, St. Louis acquired defenseman Justin Faulk in exchange for defenseman Joel Edmundson, giving the Blues another blue-liner who can chip in on the offensive side of the game. Outside of that, though, it will largely be the familiar faces suiting up for the Blues in ‘19-20, including Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko and more.