The St. Louis Blues will get their preseason underway a week from tomorrow. A lot of fans, however, might be confused as to what exactly that means. If you are a new fan here are the five things you should know about and if you’re a seasoned veteran these are five things to remember about the preseason’s significance.
Each team in the league has six preseason games against other teams mainly, but not always, in their conference. For the Blues that means match-ups against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. Having six games against three opponents is really more about the ease of travel than anything else. It keeps the preseason more simplified and travel light for the players.
#4 Team Splits
Each team also has their roster split into two separate teams. They include veterans and NHL hopefuls on both squads and they serve as the team with which the preseason games will play as well as the teams used during practices. The Blues have Team Gold and Team Blue, but other organizations have their own names.
If you choose to go to a preseason game, especially one early on, you’ll most likely see some of your favorites and a lot of new faces. As time progresses though players will be dropped and the true form of the regular season roster will begin to take shape.
#3 TV Schedule
Preseason games are not televised, so if you’d like to see them be sure to purchase tickets. There are a total of three games at Scottrade Center: Tuesday September 22nd versus Columbus, Thursday September 24th versus Dallas and Thursday October 1st versus Chicago.
Now that we’ve got the set-up of the preseason understood, it’s time for the details. The purpose of the preseason is to figure out which players will be on the 23-man roster for the 2015-2016 season. The rest of the players will find themselves playing for the AHL affiliate, a college team or in another league such as the CHL.
With such limited space it isn’t certain that frontrunner rookies will make the team, especially if that particular position is close to full. The process for determining which players make the cut and which don’t is very complicated and based on a lot of factors. If your favorite doesn’t make it, there’s always a chance he’ll be called up at some point so no need to worry. The Blues have to put the best team on the ice and that may or may not align with your personal opinion.
#1 Season Implications (or lack there of)
The number-one thing to keep in mind while keeping up with the preseason is that it really has a very small indication of the season to come. Teams can go 6-0 in the preseason and drop half of their first ten games during the season.
It really doesn’t serve as a great indicator largely because teams consist of players that will find themselves playing elsewhere for the duration of the season and the competition isn’t quite at the NHL level. Plus there’s the fact that the preseason is extremely less physical than the regular season because players don’t want to get hurt or hurt one another before the games actually count.
All in All
The preseason is a good trial for new, young players that are fighting for a roster spot as well as older veterans doing the same. It serves as tests for those guys and a warm-up of sorts for the shoe-ins. Just remember that since the games don’t count there’s no reason to freak out if your team doesn’t do well!
The regular season where games actually count starts for the Blues begins Thursday October 8th at Scottrade Center against the Edmonton Oilers and can be seen on Fox Sports Mid-West if you can’t be in attendance.
What’s your favorite part about the preseason? Least favorite? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Allison Scott is currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Missouri. She is passionate about the NHL and is a fan of both the St. Louis Blues and her hometown Dallas Stars. More articles by Allison can be found on Blackout Dallas where she covers the Stars. Follow Allison on twitter for more hockey and random tweets! @allisonnnscott