Record: 49-22-11 109p (3rd in the Central)
Playoffs: Lost in Semi-Finals to COL
G – Ville Husso (Trade – DET), G – Charlie Lindgren (WAS), F – David Perron (DET), F – Mackenzie MacEachern (CAR), Tyler Bozak
G – Thomas Greiss, F – Noel Acciari
After a disappointing end of the season, and an offseason with much hope and speculation, the Blues will start the season with largely the same roster as the one that got soundly beaten by the Colorado Avalanche, minus one of their key pieces of the last several years – David Perron. The Blues performed relatively well against Colorado in the playoffs – some even suggesting that they could have beaten the champs had Jordan Binnington not been injured. That said, the Blues needed to upgrade this offseason and they did not.
They will miss David Perron, who scored 27 goals in 67 games last year, who was lost as a cap casualty. The Blues used some of that money to sign both Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou to long term deals, both 8 years. Kyrou and Thomas each had phenomenal seasons last year, but it remains to be seen whether Kyrou can keep up his level of offensive performance now that the league has gotten a better look at him. His speed is unmatched, and his offensive performance in the playoffs shows much promise, but he, at this point, is a defensive liability and commits too many turnovers.
Goaltending will be another issue to watch. Binnington came out strong in the playoffs – reverting back to his Stanley Cup run form, but had a lackluster regular season. The Blues got by because the now departed Ville Husso played strongly, and Thomas Greiss will likely be a downgrade. As long as Binnington keeps playing like he did in the playoffs though, goaltending should not be an issue.
Offensively, beyond Thomas and Kyrou, the Blues will look to have continued stellar performances by Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich – both registering 30 or more goals last year. Ryan O’Reilly will also look to return to form after a solid, but relatively down, offensive year.
Defensively, there really is no way to slice it – they need to be better. Colton Parayko, for all his potential, has not quite lived up to it, and was a true liability against Colorado in the playoffs. Justin Faulk had a great year last year and will look to continue his upward swing, and it will be seen if young Scott Perunovich will have an impactful season.
Overall, the Blues were a solid team last year and there is no reason to believe they will not be one this year. Will it be enough to overcome Colorado at the top? That remains to be seen.