One of the best components of the NHL is the fact that it’s so unpredictable. From trades to injuries and everything in between this season is sure to be fun to watch. That lack of predictability, though, comes with areas of concern for every organization, the Blues included.
Here are the top five question marks for St. Louis going into the 2015-2016 season:
#5 Playoff Hangover
St. Louis didn’t reach their playoff goals last season and it’s something they’ll surely be reminded of as the new campaign begins. It’s really just a matter of how they respond to their disappointing end to the 2014-2015 season as a new team for 2015-2016. The fact that the rival Chicago Blackhawks are the defending champs also makes last year’s playoffs a distraction for the notes.
#4 Hitchcock’s Reign
There’s always a line of fire when something goes wrong in business and coaches are generally the first to go in the NHL. As right or wrong as that may be it’s the way it is and it could cause Hitchcock to search for a new bench to stand behind. As for now he’s signed a one-year deal with the team and has every intention of starting and ending the season with them, but things could most certainly change.
David Backes has been the captain of the St. Louis Blues for nearly five years now and they haven’t taken as many steps forward as they really should have. That isn’t to say all or even most of their shortcomings are a result of Backes’ leadership, but the “C” could be another change made in the locker room if the Blues’ season doesn’t go as it should. Which player would get the position of captain, however, is something else to consider.
Working new guys into the line-up is never easy, but it’s equally as difficult when players that have been with a team for a long time make an exit. St. Louis is currently dealing with both of those scenarios as TJ Oshie and Barrett Jackman made their way out of the gateway city just as Troy Brouwer made his way in.
There will be a trial and error period to adjust newcomers to the Blues’ style of play, but the catch is making sure that period remains as brief as possible.
#1 Déjà vu
For whatever reason the start of the season hasn’t been the issue for the Blues. In fact, the regular season hasn’t been the issue at all. As long as they keep that trend going and make the playoffs anything could happen, but they have to be more focused on making changes to their post-season play if they want different results. If they are distracted or discouraged by the outcomes of previous seasons they won’t find success this year. That is guaranteed.
What do you think is the greatest concern the Blues have going into the 2015-2016 season? 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