Who are the St. Louis Blues?
Who are the St. Louis Blues? When analyzing the St. Louis Blues, the most comparable team that comes to mind is the 2011-12 Nashville Predators.
Like the Predators during their 2011 campaign, the Blues were faced with the possibility of losing a premier defenseman in the NHL. However, unlike the Predators that season, and the decision that was made to not trade Ryan Suter, the Blues shipped off Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington. However that does not leave the Blues defense corps depleted, it simply shifts more minutes to Colton Parayko who has proven he can consistently handle top-four minutes on a nightly basis.
The Blues really didn’t make any big time additions at the trade deadline. However a big addition was made when Vladimir Sobotka decided to rejoin the Blues, make no mistake about it, having Sobotka back in the mix definitely helps out the depth of that forward group. A similar case occurred for the Predators just 5 years ago, when Alex Radulov decided to make a return for a brief stint in the NHL.
So how about Jake Allen? If it weren’t for Pekka Rinne and the success he had over the Blackhawks in round 1, Allen would most likely be considered the top goalie of the playoffs. Sporting a .956 save percentage in round 1 is an example of pure dominance. In a similar case during the 2012 playoffs, Pekka Rinne proved to be a huge factor in that years opening round series against the Detroit Red Wings. Jake Allen has definitely been up and down this year, and hasn’t exactly shined in the playoffs before, so he will have to prove that he can keep that up against a red hot Predators offense.
So if the Blues are anything like that years Predators team in the second round, you would expect see the wheels fall off. I’m picking the Predators to win this series in 5. Is that a bold statement? Not quite as bold as saying that Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t a superstar like a local blogger had wrote yesterday, but I think with what this years Nashville Predators team brings to the table, St. Louis should get skated out of the arena. If you want to make a comparison on how the styles between the Blues and the Blackhawks have, is that the Hawks play with much more speed. St. Louis isn’t a very fast team, and I think that leaves nightmare matchups all over the ice.