St. Louis Blues
Last Season Head to Head: Winnipeg Jets win season series 3-0-1
It was another productive season for the St. Louis Blues, posting a 49-22-11 record that had them sitting in third in the central. It was a year of breakouts for the Blues, with two players setting new career highs. Robert Thomas, who recently re-signed with the Blues for eight more years, recorded 77 points in 72 games. Jordan Kyrou also hit his stride, tallying 75 points in 74 games. The core group of players contributed consistently, but the goaltending proved troublesome throughout the regular season and playoffs. Jordan Binnington lost the net after having a rough season, with Ville Husso taking over in his place.
Much like the Predators, their season ended at the hands of the eventual cup-champ Avalanche. The Avs did drop two games to the Blues, proving to be a handful, but Colorado wound up winning the series in six games.
There weren’t many changes to the roster, but one of the main departures will likely cause some difficulty. Ville Husso, who became a pillar of stability in net for the Blues, was traded to the Red Wings. To counteract the loss, the Blues signed veteran goaltender, Thomas Greiss. Greiss struggled last season when playing for the Detroit Red Wings, and will need to bounce back if St. Louis has any hope of pushing for contention.
The rest of the roster was kept relatively intact, with the hope that the existing core and younger players can keep them in a cup window.
Pavel Buchnevich – Robert Thomas – Vladimir Tarasenko
Brandon Saad – Ryan O’Reilly – Jordan Kyrou
Ivan Barbashev – Brayden Schenn – Logan Brown
Nathan Walker – Noel Acciari – Klim Kostin
Torey Krug – Justin Faulk
Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko
Niko Mikkola – Robert Bortuzzo
Strengths and Weaknesses
The strength of the Blues is how deep their entire roster is. With the breakouts from Kyrou and Thomas, the St. Louis roster becomes that much more dangerous. Their defensive game is solid as well, with several guys who can carry the load of heavy minutes. Even with the loss of Marco Scandella to a hip injury, look for the top-four to do a decent job at protecting the net.
Speaking of the net, that is where the Blues’ biggest weakness lies. Rolling with a tandem of Jordan Binnington and Thomas Greiss, the St. Louis goaltending is shaping up to be a disaster. Even with the solid defensive play, you have two goalies with a below-league average save percentages. The Husso trade may prove costly, as a steady hand in net is needed for the Blues.
In approaching the 2022-23 season, it’s useful to know what the Winnipeg Jets are up against. In order for them to have a successful year, they need to take care of business against the Coyotes and Blackhawks, while also weathering the storm against the teams slated to finish at the top of the division. The real value games come against teams such as Dallas and Nashville, as those just might be the teams who the Jets could be battling with for the final playoff spot at the end of the season.