2017-18 St. Louis Blues Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
The season last year for the St. Louis Blues was, well, okay. Solid, even. They finished third in the Central Division, pulled off a first-round playoff upset over Minnesota in just five games and then lost a tough series to the Predators. When a third-place team makes the second round then they have exceeded expectations.
The issue, though, is that this team has had every opportunity over almost a decade to exceed expectations, and yet again they have fallen short. It's a very frustrating reality. The team obviously didn't blame Mike Yeo, who had only coached the team for part of the year after Ken Hitchcock was fired in February. They did, however, completely clean house with his coaching staff. It will be interesting to see if that has a real impact. Beyond the coaching staff, the biggest issue the team has is that the West has just gotten tougher and tougher around them. Edmonton has fully arrived. Chicago has retooled. Dallas has aggressively improved. Anaheim is still strong. Calgary is much improved. Nashville has the experience of last year to draw on. The Kings have a new coach. Winnipeg is quietly dangerous. Minnesota is still strong.
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Have the Blues done enough to keep up with everyone's improvement when their status quo has long been that they ultimately aren't quite good enough even when the West isn't this deep?
St. Louis Blues Offseason Moves
The Blues did three things I like since last year. Sort of. The first,
actually, happened at the end of last year. After the KHL season ended,
Vladimir Sobotka signed with the Blues. He played one regular-season game
and 11 playoff games. Sobotka, who is 30, previously played four seasons
with the Blues before returning to the KHL for three years. He was solid
and improving when he was here, and he played well in the KHL. The fact he
decided to return indicates he has hunger and unfinished business, and I
like his upside.
Second, the team traded Jori Lehtera and a first-round pick to Philadelphia for Brayden Schenn. Schenn is a talented guy who was tied for the league lead in power play goals last year with 17, and he's tied up for three more years at a reasonable price. He's only 26, too, so there is plenty of upside. Excellent addition to this core.
Third, the team locked up defenseman Colton Parayko for five years at $5.5 million. That's a solid price. The team has done a very good job of locking up their core long term without breaking the bank.
The team also shuffled around some depth players, and they lost David Perron in the expansion draft. In a nice move they grabbed Oskar Sundqvist from the Penguins in a deal for journeyman Ryan Reaves and a swap of picks. They then signed Sundqvist to a very cheap deal. He has not yet found his stride at the NHL level, but he's only 23 and could turn into a very useful two way center.
The team got better this offseason. Maybe not dramatically better, but better.
St. Louis Blues NHL Outlook
This team has a lot of players 26 and under who could be really good and some that already are - most notably Vladimir Tarasenko. They need some more of those guys to contribute up to their potential. If that happens then the team has some real room to grow. They have, more than a lot of teams, done a very good job of shifting generations on their roster without having to rebuild. If they can seamlessly continue that process then the pieces are here to be good. The team is absolutely right in the playoff mix.
St. Louis Blues Schedule
It's a tough start to the season for the Blues. Seven of their first nine games are on the road, including visits to top contenders Pittsburgh, the Rangers and Tampa Bay. And the two home games are just brutal, too - Dallas and Chicago. We won't have to wait too long to see how talented and tough this team is.
St. Louis Blues NHL Futures Odds
Bovada has St. Louis at +2800 to win the Stanley Cup, which has them behind 17 other teams. That's certainly not very flattering. BetOnline has them tied with the Flames at +1400 to win the Western Conference, behind eight other teams. That's proof of how ridiculously deep the conference is. The Blues are the fifth choice to win the Central Division at +500. The season win total sits at 44.5. Last year they won 46 games.
2017-18 St. Louis Blues Predictions
I don't know what to think about this team - I'll be honest. I like the young core, and I like Yeo as a coach. I like the offseason, too. I think it's quite possible that oddsmakers are too pessimistic about this team. The problem, though, is that the West is so tight, and I'm not sure I like what they have done or what they are more than a lot of other teams. I think the "over" on the season win total is probably the right play, but I won't mortgage my house to bet it.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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