After a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, the St. Louis Blues have become the first team to clinch a playoff berth with 100 points, which means it’s officially speculation time. Let’s venture out into some of the potential first round match ups the boys in blue may face.
Phoenix Coyotes (Currently in 7th)
I’m really not sure where I stand on a Blues/Yotes match up. As a child, I owned one of the crazy coyote jerseys. But this is not the team of my past. This will be the second straight year the Coyotes have joined the playoffs, losing to the Red Wings twice in quarterfinals. While they have scored more goals this season (191), the strength of goaltending on the Blues end will be huge. Plus, it’ll be fun to see what BizNasty says about our boys.
Colorado Avalanche (Currently in 8th)
Colorado could be a fun match up. To refresh your memory, the Blues and Avs made a monumental 2am trade before the deadline, sending Eric Johnson and Jay McClement to Denver for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. How’d that work you ask? Well, EJ has 4 goals and 20 assists against Shatty’s 9 goals and 28 assists. McClement (10 G, 6A) and Stewie (15 G, 13 A) have made a difference in the line up as well. Aside from the personal issues these teams have, we’ve got another goaltending mismatch, as Colorado’s net minders have allowed an additional 53 goals this season.
San Jose Sharks (Currently in 9th)
Please god, anyone but the Sharks. We’ve seen what Joe Thorton can do to this team, but this could end up being a repeat of the 1999-2000 season when the President’s Trophy-winning Blues were upset in the first round. The Sharks play an aggressive style of hockey that matches well with St. Louis. Their road record is barely above .500, but I never doubt their desire to win come playoff time.
Los Angeles Kings (Currently in 10th)
This could be the goaltending match old-time hockey fans long for. The Blues are the only team to have allowed less goals this season (158), and it’s clear that the mask is not the only thing that rocks about Jonathan Quick. Playoffs could bring along an outburst of goals from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, along with leadership from Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Plus, I like the idea of a ’67 expansion playoff.
Who do you want to see the Blues match up with? While you think, give this tune by Brookroyal a listen.